Kevin Costner and Warner Bros. Clashing Over 'Horizon' Release Date, Report Says

Kevin Costner and Warner Bros. are reportedly butting heads over the release of Horizon, the multi-part Western epic film Costner is making between filming Yellowstone. The independently-financed project has played a major role in Costner's alleged dispute with Paramount Network over filming time and delays for Taylor Sheridan's hit series. Warner Bros. has agreed to release Horizon, but its schedule for 2023 makes it difficult to do.

Costner's Yellowstone contract gave him time off to film Horizon, which he is starring in and directed last year. He already completed the first part, which was budgeted at $100 million, reports Puck News' Matthew Belloni. Warner Bros. financed a small portion of the budget in exchange for domestic distribution rights. Costner reportedly showed over a half-hour of completed footage to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Vaslav and Warner Bros. film executives Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, Belloni reports.

The Dances With Wolves filmmaker wants Horizon Part 1 released in late 2023, but WBD might not be able to accommodate that request. The studio has a packed fourth quarter, with Dune: Part Two, Wonka, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom all on the schedule. WBD might not even be able to afford to release it until 2024.

In December, as the drama over Costner's Yellowstone availability kicked into high gear, Costner's lawyer Howard Kaplan approached Paramount about them taking over Horizon. Some Paramount executives thought that Costner may be more available for Yellowstone if they boarded Horizon to help the film get out by late 2023. Ultimately though, Paramount refused to come aboard, Belloni reports. Warner Bros. did not comment on Belloni's report.

Despite not having a release date for Horizon Part 1, Costner has reportedly started casting the second film. Costner hopes to start filming in late April or early May. The actor has told Paramount he was busy from March to October. Costner reportedly only offered Paramount about a week to film new episodes for Yellowstone Season 5B, which is now on track to start filming in the summer and fall to air in November. (In a statement to Belloni, Costner's litigator, Marty Singer, denied Costner only offered to be available for a week.)

Horizon will be Costner's first directing effort since Open Range in 2003. He split the project into four films, covering a 15-year span before, during, and after the Civil War. Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington also star in the first film.

"It's a really beautiful story; it's a hard story," Costner told Variety of the film last year. "It really involves a lot of women, to be honest. There are a lot of men in it, too, but the women are really strong in Horizon. It's just them trying to get by every day in a world that was impossibly tough. They were often [dragged] out to these places because that's where the men wanted to go; women were following their men. They didn't ask to be in these territories that were unsettled and dangerous, and life wasn't easy. I've chosen to make sure that was really obvious, that that wasn't easy, and how vulnerable people were."