Kevin Costner Confirms He Spent $38 Million of His Own Money on ‘Horizon,’ Not the $20 Million Being Reported: ‘That’s the Truth. The Real Number’

Kevin Costner confirmed in a new GQ magazine cover story that reports claiming he spent $20 million of his own money to co-finance his new Western epic “Horizon: An American Saga” are not true, as he actually contributed more than that from his personal bank account.

“I know they say I’ve got $20 million of my own money in this movie,” Costner said. “It’s not true. I’ve got now about $38 million in the film. That’s the truth. That’s the real number.”

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Costner funded “Horizon: An American Saga” alongside two investors who he has not yet publicly named. The Western saga spans four movies, two of which were shot back to back. Costner recently world premiered the three-hour first movie at the Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews. Warner Bros. is releasing the first two installments in theaters this summer. Costner is already in pre-production on the third movie, but neither of the final two installments are fully funded yet.

“They’re going to happen regardless, but they’re not already funded,” Costner said. “I got my suitcase on the end of the street, you know, and seeing: Where are all you brave, rich billionaires? If I hear the word billionaire one more time, I think I’m going to puke.”

“I need somebody that’s impulsive, is emotional, has money, and wants to go west,” Costner added about the financiers he’s searching for. “And it’s like: Now let’s see how much of a gambler you are. Because everything I have is in the movie.”

“Horizon: An American Saga” is a sprawling story that follows the construction of an Old West town during a pivotal moment of America’s expansion. Costner stars in the movie opposite an ensemble cast that includes Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Giovanni Ribisi, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Tatanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Jamie Campbell Bower and Thomas Haden Church.

Costner has contemplated making “Horizon” since as early as 1988, when the movie was a more intimate story about two guys in the Old West.

As chronicled by GQ magazine: “In 2003, he was going to make ‘Horizon’ with Disney, but the director and the studio were $5 million apart on the budget, and so Costner—never one to compromise on something he regards as important—walked away. Then, in 2012, Costner picked the script up again and, with the screenwriter and author Jon Baird, turned it into four scripts.”

When no studio would finance the ambitious project, Costner decided to mortgage his ranch to start raising the $100 million needed to bring his epic vision to life. Whether or not Costner puts in more than the $38 million he’s already contributed to get the final two movies made remains to be seen.

When asked at a Cannes press conference about his struggle to finance the film, Costner said, “I don’t know why it was so hard.”

“You saw the movie. I don’t know why it was so hard to get people to believe in the movie that I wanted to make,” he added. “You know, I don’t think my movie is better than anybody else’s movie, but I don’t think anybody else’s movie is better than mine. I don’t go out into the world with something I don’t think is good.”

While Costner was met with a seven-minute standing ovation following the “Horizon” world premiere at Cannes, reviews for the first movie have been decidedly mixed. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote in his review that the first movie feels more like a set-up for television miniseries.

“Instead of unfurling a Western saga in a solid powerful arc, Costner serves up three hours of anecdotes,” the review reads, “cross-cutting among groups of characters, dropping in on situations that are dropped just as quickly, taking a skittery overview of life on the range, and asking the audience, in many cases, to stitch together the backstory of what they’re seeing.”

“Horizon” opens on June 28 in the U.S. with the second chapter debuting in theaters on Aug. 16.

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