Kevin Costner Wants to Direct a 10-Hour Western

Kevin Costner western

If there’s one actor we’d like to see direct far more often, it’s Kevin Costner. It’s been 13 very long years since Costner helmed the terrific Open Range, which followed The Postman, an ambitious and puzzling misfire, and his grand directorial debut, Dances with Wolves. His first film clearly established he’s a real deal filmmaker, not an actor testing the waters, and yet we’ve only seen the actor helm two movies since winning the Academy Award for best director in 1991. The great news is, we might start to see more directorial efforts from Costner, one of which might be an enticing 10-hour western.

Below, learn more about the Kevin Costner western.

Costner first mentioned the western in 2014. The Hidden Figures co-star knows his plan is ambitious, so whether he’d get to tell this story on television or in the cinema, he doesn’t know. He’d preferably want to shoot the 10-hour epic all at once, though, and then “release one on Memorial Day, one on Thanksgiving, and then one on the Fourth of July.”

A fourth movie could follow, but unfortunately, the response Costner often hears after sharing his idea is: “Oh that’s really interesting, Kevin. We don’t think we can do that.’” The director wants to make sequels because the story calls for it, not because a “second one wasn’t invented because the first one made a little money.”

Despite the difficulties Costner faces with this project, he told Variety he still wants to make it happen:

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.

Moving forward in his career, Costner said he intends on directing more (Source: 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.

A part of the reason why we went a few years without seeing the actor — and maybe the director — is the material he responds to typically doesn’t get studios or financiers scrambling to find their checkbooks. Costner put $3 million of his own into Dances with Wolves, and he recently financed Black or White for a total of $9 million. He’s gone to great lengths to tell stories he wants to see told, like the 10-hour western he’s planning, which he’ll hopefully get to make sooner than later.

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