There have been many two-part and back-to-back movies, but typically studios spread those sorts of projects out at least a little bit to help disperse the workload, and perhaps to ensure one film doesn’t cannibalize the other’s box office potential. There was a year between Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame; there were six months between The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and between Back to the Future PartII and III. 

So the plan Warner Bros. announced today is pretty unique. They are releasing Kevin Costner’s new Western epic, titled Horizon: An American Saga, over the span of three months next summer. The first half debuts in June, and the conclusion follows in August. In addition to Costner, the film also stars Sam Worthington, Sienna Miller, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, and Luke Wilson.

They also debuted a very brief teaser announcing the two films, which Costner directed, co-wrote, and also stars in.

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The announcement did not offer much in the way of a details plot synopsis besides the Western setting, but Warner Bros. did unveil the official poster for the two-part film as well.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

This will be Costner’s first effort as a feature director in 20 years; his last movie as a filmmaker was Open Range in 2003. (Before that, he also directed the award winning blockbuster Dances With Wolves and the costly flop The Postman.) In recent years, Costner’s had a career resurgence thanks to his starring role on the hit cable series Yellowstone. Costner was the central figure on the show for its first five seasons, which spawned multiple spinoffs and is now being continued in a new show without his character. Warners is clearly banking on his Yellowstone fans coming out to the theater to see what Costner has cooked up.

Few modern actors are as closely tied to the West as Costner, so the fact that he’s back directing a new Western is news in and of itself — whether or not this project had been released in this unique way in two parts across three months.

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