After more than three decades of dreaming and hard work, Kevin Costner’s vision came to fruition on Sunday. The legendary actor famously mortgaged his Santa Barbara, California, home to fund his $100-million passion project, “Horizon: An American Saga.” The 3-hour film’s reception at this weekend’s screening suggests that Costner’s financial risk is set to yield substantial rewards.

Following the film’s premiere, every attendee stood and delivered a remarkable 7-minute standing ovation for Costner, with some reports suggesting the applause lasted over 10 minutes. The 69-year-old actor was moved to tears as he absorbed the moment, often looking around the room, seemingly overwhelmed by the response. Chants of “Kevin! Kevin! Kevin!” resonated throughout, rising above the applause.


Kevin Costner attended the event with five of his seven children: daughters Annie (40), Lily (37), Hayden (17), and Grace (13), along with his son Hayes (15), who stars alongside his dad in “Horizon.”

Costner was eventually handed a microphone and addressed the crowd, saying:

I’m sorry you had to clap that long for me to understand that I should speak,” Costner said. “Such good people. Such a good moment, not just for me, but for the actors that came with me, for people who believed in me who continued to work. It’s a funny business, and I’m so glad I found it. There’s no place like here. I’ll never forget this — neither will my children.”

“I made this. It’s not mine anymore. It’s yours. I knew that the minute this was over, and that’s how it should be,” Costner told the audience. “I think movies aren’t about their opening weekends. They’re about their lifespan and how many times you’re willing to share them.”

Ella Hunt (from left), Hayes Costner, Jena Malone, Kevin Costner, Sienna Miller, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Luke Wilson, Wasé Chief, Isabelle Fuhrman, Georgia MacPhail, and Alejandro Edda at the Horizon: An American Saga red carpet at the 77th Cannes Film Festivalthe 77th Cannes Film Festival. Photo / Getty Images
Costner expressed feeling ‘lucky’ and ‘blessed’ to receive such recognition for work he is deeply passionate about, and he was overwhelmed with gratitude.

“There was no reason to believe this would happen, and it’s just another miracle in my life,” he said, visibly moved. “Thank you so much for giving me your precious time. I hope that this time was worth it for you. Thank you.”

Remarkably, this is only the fourth film Costner has directed, following “Dances With Wolves” (1990), “The Postman” (1997), and “Open Range” (2003).

For his work on the classic epic Western “Dances With Wolves,” which was set around the Civil War era, Costner won Best Picture and Best Director among its seven wins from 12 nominations at the 63rd Academy Awards in 1991.

Costner has long harbored a passion for the Wild West and American history, which he has brought to life through film on several occasions.

“A lot of times we measure ourselves against other generations. I think about what was at stake. How did people survive? There’s a rawness and an unpredictability about it. I’m haunted by that,” he explained to People in November 2022.

He further detailed the challenges of making “Horizon,” yet confessed it was precisely what he should be doing at this point in his career.

“‘Horizon’ is incredibly meaningful to me,” he said. “It’s really been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s exactly what I want to do.”

 Horizon: An American Saga Chapter One is set to premiere in theaters on June 28, and then Chapter Two will follow and debut on August 16.

See the official trailer for  Horizon: An American Saga below.

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