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Kevin Costner gushes over son Hayes' 'impact' in $100 million film debut Horizon: An American Saga

The Yellowstone actor has been working on the Western saga for over ten years

Christine Baumgartner and Kevin Costner attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
14 April 2024
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Kevin Costner's son Hayes may not have even been born when his dad first started working on his epic Western saga, but he's had a huge impact on it now that it has finally come to fruition. 

For over a decade, the Yellowstone actor has been developing Horizon: An American Saga, which, through three different installments, tells the story of pre and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west.

Now, as he anticipates its official release on June 28, he's giving insight into his passion project, which reportedly cost approximately $100 million to make, and includes his son's acting debut.

WATCH: Kevin Costner's son, Hayes, makes acting debut in Horizon: An American Saga

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Kevin detailed just how much a part of the project Hayes is – and how long he has been working on it – revealing that he (and ex-wife Christine Baumgartner) named their son after the lead character that he first created over a decade ago.

"I was watching him grow up and I was thinking, 'Man I better get with it and make this movie,'" he joked, adding: "He's very good in the small part that he's done," and that he has a real "impact" on the movie.

Aside from Hayes, Kevin and Christine, who were married from 2004 until last year, also share kids Cayden, 16, and Grace, 13, plus he's a dad to Annie, 39, Lily, 37, and Joe, 35, who he shares with ex-wife Cindy Silva, and Liam, 27, who he shares with ex-girlfriend Bridget Rooney.

Grace Avery Costner, Kevin Costner, Hayes Logan Costner, Christine Baumgartner, and Cayden Wyatt Costner in 2019 © Getty
Kevin with his ex and their three kids in 2019

Speaking with People back in 2022 about his decision to cast Hayes in the film, he admitted: "He's very good, but I kind of did it on purpose, so he could be hanging out with me."

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He endearingly added: "The same thing for Cayden, same thing for Grace. I'm like any other parent, I'm trying to figure out, like, 'This is really neat. You should come be with me.'"

Kevin Costner kids© Getty

Though it took him over ten years to get the epic story come to life, Kevin is now committed to getting more out of the American west. The project was filmed in Utah, where he is now planning to build Territory Film Studios, which among various amenities, will boast 152,750 square feet of studio space.

MORE: Kevin Costner surprises sports fans in busy LA bar

Per The Salt Lake Tribune, St. George Mayor Michele Randall shared the news during her State of the City address in February. The 500-acre film compound will feature two studios, a production warehouse for set design and office space, plus a "Costner-themed" restaurant that will also offer catering services.

Kevin Costner, winner of Best Picture and Best Director for "Dances with Wolves"© Getty
Kevin with his Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for Dances with Wolves

Brett Burgess, president of Development Solutions Group, Inc., told the Tribune the massive project is Kevin's "passion." The outlet also reports the idea stemmed from his frustration with finding it difficult to identify adequate warehouses to film interior scenes for Horizon.

Kevin made his directorial debut in 1990 with Dances with Wolves, in which he played lead character Lieutenant John Dunbar. It won Best Picture and Best Director for him at the Oscars, plus seven other wins of twelve nominations in total. Horizon marks his first time back in the director's chair since Open Range, which premiered in 2003.

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