Kevin Costner has recently seen his personal and professional life collide in an emotional tumult. After 18 years of marriage, the Yellowstone actor and his wife sadly parted ways this year, amidst whispers that she’d had enough of his relentless commitment to his career.
And now the 68-year-old star has made an extraordinary personal investment in his upcoming Western franchise, Horizon.
Kevin recently revealed he has mortgaged a sprawling 10-acre plot of prime, undeveloped coastline – a piece of land he had earmarked for a family home to fund the creation of his dream project.
“I’ve mortgaged 10 acres on the water in Santa Barbara where I was going to build my last house,” he admitted to Deadline.
“’But I did it without a thought. It has thrown my accountant into a conniption fit. But it’s my life, and I believe in the idea and the story,” he added.
For over three decades, Kevin has been passionately working towards bringing Horizon to life, a labour of love that has now seen him personally contribute up to $50 million of the project’s $100 million budget.
Although the actor is well aware of the potential risks involved, he is wholeheartedly committed to this project, stating, “I’ll tell you what. I’m never gonna do this again. I’m never putting my money in another movie after these four.”
Kevin’s impressive real estate portfolio boasts of many properties, including a 160-acre ranch in Colorado and three ocean-front homes in Carpinteria, California. The latter also included the now-mortgaged 10-acre parcel of undeveloped land, purchased in 2006 for $28.5 million.
Despite the impressive personal wealth Kevin possesses, his decision to put his own money into the Horizon franchise came from his passionate storytelling spirit. “At the end of the day, I’m a storyteller and I went ahead and put my own money into it. I’m not a very good businessman so scratch your head if you will,” he revealed.
The seed for Horizon was sown back in 1988, when Kevin first conceived the idea of the epic Western. While he almost sealed the deal with Disney, the project was put on hold due to budget constraints. After revisiting the idea in 1996 and evolving it into a four-film cycle, it became an obsession for Kevin, similar to his previous Oscar-winning endeavour, Dances With Wolves.
Horizon promises to be an awe-inspiring venture with over 170 speaking parts, a storyline spanning the Civil War, and a star-studded cast including Sienna Miller, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Sam Worthington.
It’s a testament to Kevin’s unwavering determination that he has foregone all fees for acting, writing, directing, and producing the movie series, while also risking his property for its financing.
The first of the Horizon movies is scheduled for release later this year. But will this bold gamble see box office success, or will it spell the ultimate fall of an illustrious career? Critics may view Kevin’s apparent obstinacy as the latter, but he insists that his personal investment is no gamble. He tells Deadline: “I’m not a gambler. People might look at this and say: “Oh, this is a gamble,” I gamble on the love of story. I’m gambling on people.”
Amidst the colossal endeavour of Horizon, the breakdown of his marriage and the dramatic climax of his role in Yellowstone seem a sadly apt reflection of his personal life.
Christine Baumgartner, his wife, filed for divorce on May 1, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’. Rumours of Kevin impregnating a Yellowstone co-worker were swiftly denied, while speculations persist that his unwillingness to cut back on work commitments caused Christine to end their marriage.