Horizon: American Saga & Yellowstone Connections Explained: Kevin Costner's Movie & Show Ties Breakdown

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Kevin Costner Yellowstone and Horizon: American Saga posters

Kevin Costner introduces a whole new take on the wild, wild, west in Horizon: An American Saga, and it has notable connections to his previous Western project, Yellowstone.

Horizon: An American Saga is the first part of a four-film series and Costner's passion project that revolves around the journey of characters living during the height of the Civil War anchored by stories in the Wild West. 

Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 premiered in theaters on June 28. 

What Are the Key Connections Between Horizon: American Saga & Yellowstone?

Kevin Costner in Horizon: An American Saga
Kevin Costner

Horizon: An American Saga and Yellowstone have no direct narrative connections, but lead star and director Kevin Costner admitted (via GQ) that he sees the movie as a "complement" to the TV series. 

Costner has been a mainstay of Yellowstone, but that all changed in Part 2 of Season 5 after he became involved in a behind-the-scenes fiasco involving his filming schedule. 

Some believed that the veteran actor's Yellowstone departure was due to his commitment to Horizon: An American Saga, but Costner refuted this claim in the same interview with GQ, stressing that he felt that he could not finalize his schedule in his western movie. 

The final straw was when Yellowstone split Season 5 into two parts and this led to Costner's eventual departure from the series

"And their big plan was to suddenly do eight now and then in the fall do eight more. I said, 'I have a contract to do 'Horizon,' and I have people and money.' I think there was a belief that I couldn’t get it mounted, but I didn’t really care what anybody believed."

Reports claimed that Costner only wanted to dedicate one week of filming for Season 5, Part 2 to have more time to finish Horizon

Costner also told GQ that he tried his best to offer solutions so that he could still return to film scenes for Yellowstone Season 5, Part 2, but "the scripts never came:"

"They still haven’t shot it. As far as I know. The scripts never came. And so then at one point they said to me that we don’t have an ending or anything."

The actor even proposed a proper exit for his character, such as the possibility of killing him off: 

"I said, 'Well, if you want to kill me, if you want to do something like that,' I said, 'I have a week before I start. I’ll do what you want to do.' "

GQ reported that a spokesperson for Paramount Network refuted Costner's claim, releasing an official statement regarding the matter: 

"Kevin has been a big part of 'Yellowstone's' success. While we had hoped that we would continue working with him, unfortunately, we could not find a window that worked for him, all the other talent, and our production needs in order to move forward together. We respect that Kevin has prioritized his new film series and we wish him the best."

Costner eventually confirmed his departure from Yellowstone in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, noting that "it wasn't [a] tough" decision for him to leave the series: 

"It was a necessary decision to say, 'Hey, OK, I don’t want to really talk about this anymore. It’s time to move on.'"

Still, the actor is thankful for the time spent on the series, saying, "I was really happy to do it:"

"I gave this thing five seasons. I was really happy to do it. And I don’t need drama. So, let’s just take that drama away, let’s take the guessing [away]. The fans have been way too good to me. And my obligation is to go on and continue to make things that mean something to them."

Aside from the behind-the-scenes drama, Horizon and Yellowstone have notable similarities, such as two protagonists only trying to protect their land, Yellowstone actors namely Danny Huston and Will Patton joining the cast before Season 5's debut, and the fact that both shows are bannered by a strong ensemble of stars.

Why Kevin Costner Needs Horizon: American Saga to Begin a Fresh Start

Kevin Costner's stint in Yellowstone was fueled by a great desire to lead the show to greater heights, and he had a memorable time with the team after winning the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Show in 2023. 

Although the behind-the-scenes drama capped off Costner's run with Yellowstone which eventually led to his departure, there is no denying the fact that the actor left a mark on the long-running TV show and his influence will sprinkle over in his next passion project: Horizon: An American Saga

Horizon: An American Saga gives Costner a chance to start again, infused with a huge wave of momentum due to his Yellowstone experience. 

While Horizon and Yellowstone are two entirely different projects, they are forever intertwined not just by the drama off-screen, but also with Costner's performance and desire to put Western stories worth watching on-screen.

Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 is now playing in theaters. 

Read more about Yellowstone:

Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 Cast: Every Actor & Character Expected to Appear

Yellowstone Season 5: Is the Series Ending With the Fifth Season?

Yellowstone Season 6: Will It Release or Get Cancelled?

- In This Article: Yellowstone
Release Date
November 10, 2023
Kelly Reilly
Kevin Costner
Luke Grimes
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.