Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Get to the know the characters in ‘Horizon: An American Saga’

The Freeman

Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner’s latest directorial effort, his passion project “Horizon: An American Saga,” is opening soon in Philippine cinemas, simultaneously with the rest of the world on June 28.

Costner, who wrote and also stars in the film, famously spent some of his own money on the sweeping Western saga. “I have a giant love for my movies and what they can be. I was interested in the story that I wanted to tell. I put on the hat of being a financier, using my own money, mortgaging my own property, taking that risk to follow my own dream,” says Costner.

“I think, in a way, that I’m somebody that just had to go west myself, and not know what was out there, and not be afraid of it. And that all the trappings of the things that were good to me were not things I was choosing to protect. I wanted to feed my imagination and expand my possibilities.”

“Horizon: An American Saga” explores the lure of the Old West and how it was won and lost through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning the four years of the American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, Costner’s ambitious cinematic adventure will take audiences on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself.

The saga, which is planned for four chapters (Chapter 2 comes out in August), reportedly earned a seven-minute standing ovation when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Learn more about the film’s story through its rich lineup of characters:

Horizon Settlement  / Camp Gallant

Frances Kittredge (Sienna Miller, “Foxcatcher,” “American Sniper”) is a strong, hardy, and maternal pioneer woman who, with her family, has come out to the Horizon settlement in search of a better life. Compared to the life she left behind, the conditions are immensely challenging, but Frances is a strong spirit and a survivor.

First Lt. Trent Gephart (Sam Worthington, “Avatar” films, “Clash of the Titans”) is stationed at Fort Gallant. Idealistic, he inhabits a moral high ground, but questions the world around him and his own role in it. He escorts Frances and her daughter Elizabeth to the fort, but can’t acknowledge the sense of ease and calm that Frances brings him; he knows that in this place, at this time, with despair and loss all around them, hope is not something to hold out for.

Colonel Houghton (Danny Huston, “American Horror Story,” “Yellowstone”) is the commander at Fort Gallant and one who has a real measure of empathy, but also understands the reality of the situation: that these settlers are going to continue to come in droves, even if it’s harsh and challenging, as they believe they will be luckier than those before them.

Sgt. Major Riordan (Michael Rooker, “The Walking Dead,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies) is a kind man, and, with his encouragement, he and his tough, warm-hearted wife take young Elizabeth Kittredge (Georgia MacPhail) under their wing, even donating belongings so that she and her mother will be more comfortable at Fort Gallant.

Watts Parish

Hayes Ellison (Kevin Costner, “The Bodyguard,” “Dances With Wolves”) is a loner who attempts to mind his own business. He is withdrawn and tired, a man seeking some kind of respite in a dangerous world. However, because he possesses the skills necessary for survival (skills he’d rather leave behind), and he’s not one to shy away from other people, he often finds himself in situations that he wishes to avoid. Somehow a flier for the town of Horizon ends up in Hayes’ hand. All of the other settlers have specific designs on getting there, but he’s the one character that is being pulled there by a unique force.

“Ellen” Harvey, a.k.a. Lucy (Jena Malone, “The Hunger Games” movies, “Into the Wild”), lives in a small mining town called Watts Parish. She’s had a long journey to get there, and it hasn’t been an easy one. She manages to settle down with a good man, Walt. They live with a boarder, Marigold, who provides much needed income and help with Ellen’s child.

A survivor through-and-through, Marigold (Abbey Lee, “Mad Max: Fury Road”) boards with Ellen and Walt, helping with the housework and their child. She finds herself on the run with Hayes Ellison, needing his protection. Marigold still has dreams, and hopes that she can use her wits and her brave spirit to earn her independence.

Caleb Sykes (Jamie Campbell Bower, “Stranger Things,” “The Twilight Saga”) is the son of the outlaw Sykes family in mountainous Northern Territory. A loose cannon, he is confident, brutal, unhinged, vicious and conceited. He and brother Junior act as emissaries to clean up their father’s dirty business.

Native Americans – White  Mountain Apache

Pionsenay (Owen Crow Shoe, “The Revenant” (stunts), “Black Summer”) is an Apache warrior with the White Mountain Apache tribe. He is not a naturally violent man, but when settlers encroach upon their land, he is pushed to the point of brutality because of everything that he witnesses. Unlike his father, the Chief, Pionsenay loses faith in humanity and chooses to be the resistance, pushing back on what is threatening his way of life and the survival of his people.

Taklishim (Tatanka Means, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “The Son”) is an Apache warrior with the White Mountain Apache tribe. Although he was once a fearless young warrior, he now has a family, which makes him more grounded and responsible. He is torn between his loyalty to his father, the Chief, who prefers to wait out the influx of settlers, and his brother Pionsenay, who chooses to be the resistance and to push back on what is threatening his way of life.

Liluye (Wasé Chief, “The Oath”) is a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe, Taklishim’s wife and the mother of his infant child. She sees that Taklishim is torn between his father, the Chief of the White Mountain Apache who is willing to leave the settlers be, and his brother Pionsenay, who wants to push back on the settlers encroaching on their land. Though Liluye is not happy with Taklishim’s actions, and she questions his choices when it comes to his brother, she is loyal to her husband.

Wagon Train

Matthew Van Weyden (Luke Wilson, “Legally Blonde,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”), like the other pioneers, is trying to move West with his wife and family, but finds himself elected as the de facto ‘leader’ of the wagon train, an unpaid and thankless job that he didn’t necessarily want. A good man, good at dealing with people, he does his best to navigate the road and the trials that come with it, conducting himself with dignity while making decisions and dealing with personalities he never imagined he’d have to.

Kind-hearted artist Hugh Proctor (Tom Payne, “The Walking Dead,” “Prodigal Son”) and defiant, unflinching school teacher Juliette Chesney (Ella Hunt, “Cold Feet,” “Dickinson”) are a British married couple coming from a life of privilege, traveling to Horizon on the Oregon Trail. They have idealistic notions of how they can carve out a way of life for themselves if they can get to Horizon, however, they are not prepared to deal with some of the situations that they come across. They don’t quite understand the unspoken rules of the trail and have very different temperaments to their fellow travelers.

Owen Kittredge (Will Patton, “Yellowstone,” “Outer Range”) is a widower, emerging hard-bitten, affected, and traumatized from the Civil War. He drags his three daughters with him on the Wagon Train to make a better life for himself and his family. Unforgiving and unrelenting, he has raised his daughters to be really tough; they aren’t afraid to get things done.

Diamond Kittredge (Isabelle Fuhrman, “Orphan” movies, “The Hunger Games”) is resilient and independent and someone who isn’t afraid to get things done. Her father, Owen, is an unforgiving and unrelenting man who has raised his daughters to be really tough. Diamond and her sisters are the workers on the wagon train; they’ve had to forfeit their female attire and femininity to be more rugged after being on a wagon train for so many months.

Sig (Douglas Smith, “Big Love”) and his henchman/sidekick Birke (Roger Ivens, “Stranger Things”) are Laplanders who have joined the wagon train. Sig is strikingly thin and, despite being much slighter than Birke, is clearly in charge. Sig may appear harmless at first glance, but underneath lies a touch of something more menacing. After catching Juliette Chesney unawares one evening, he takes an unhealthy liking to her, and Birke, a stocky, broadbacked, bull-shouldered, apish man, follows Sig’s lead in all things.

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