Kevin Costner Wants to Cinch His Saddle Up on a 10-Hour Western
Kevin Costner currently shares the screen with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae in the new release Hidden Figures, but the frequent actor hasn’t gotten behind the camera in some time. He took the Oscars by storm as the helmer behind Dances with Wolves in 1990, followed that up with the bizarro The Postman in 1997, and returned in 2003 with the Western Open Range. But for the past 13 years, it’s been all radio silence from Costner as to when audiences can expect another go at directing. As he’s hit the interview circuit to promote Hidden Figures, however, the actor has floated an idea for a grand project on a scale unlike anything he’s attempted before.
A lifelong Western fanatic, Costner hopes to return to the genre for his next effort, bigger than ever before. The folks at /Film note that Costner first mentioned a plan for a massive, 10-hour oater in a 2014 sit-down, where he suggested that he could shoot the whole kit and caboodle in one sitting and then release it over Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. (The three most American holidays, naturally.) As one might imagine, he’s had difficulty securing financing for this audacious pitch, but that hasn’t deterred Costner from bringing it up again this year. He told Variety:
I’ve been working on it. It’s about 10 hours long, how about that? Maybe I’ll make three features out of it. There’s a fourth one, too, so it’s truly a saga. I could do TV, or I could also make it like every six months, have a big western that’s tied together like [Claude Berri’s 1986 film] Jean de Florette and [1987 film] Manon of the Spring. I think those are fun to watch.
He doubled down in a conversation with Vulture:
I have another Western I’ve co-written with some people, and I would like to play out the second half of my career directing more. I’ve constantly given the movies I’ve found to directors who I thought could do it better, but there are a lot of voices in my ear from my family saying, ‘You need to direct the movies you fall in love with.’ So I think I will.
It only makes sense that Costner would move in this direction as he rolls into his greyer years. He’s always felt at home on the range.