Filming begins in St. George for Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon, an American Saga’

May 2, 2023, 7:09 PM

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Excitement is growing in southern Utah and money is pouring into the local economy with filming underway for two Kevin Costner movies.

Crews started arriving in the St. George area in January and filming started mid-April for parts two and three of “Horizon, an American Saga.”

Costner writes, directs and stars in the multi-film Western series. Other cast members include Isabelle Fuhrman, Jena Malone, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Luke Wilson and Thomas Haden Church.

Parts two and three will be filmed in various locations in Washington County. Part one was shot last year in the Moab area.

“The filming of ‘Horizon’ lays the groundwork for the Greater Zion region to diversify its tourism economy,” read a statement from Joyce Kelly, sales manager for The Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office.

The tourism office calculates that the production of the two “Horizon” films in Washington County will generate more than $90 million in local economic impact.

“Our distinct landscape has been the setting for several film and commercial shoots over the years, but nothing of the magnitude of ‘Horizon,’” Kelly’s statement went on to say. “This is a multi-year partnership with great economic benefit to the community, but little impact to residents.”

The Utah Film Commission said it’s thrilled to have the epic western filming in the Beehive State.

“This is a big show and it’s exciting to have this size of a show here,” said Virginia Pearce, the commission’s director.

Pearce said Utah has been in the film business for a long time and can support a large production like “Horizon.”

“We know how to do it. We’ve got an amazing crew base. We’ve got the resources and infrastructure,” she said. “It is shooting in some of the most beautiful places in our state. Kevin Costner really has an eye for what he wants.”

The film series depicts the pre- and post-Civil War settlement of the American West.

“The State of Utah, with its intrinsic beauty, is the perfect backdrop for the story of ‘Horizon’ and can be said to be its own character in our story,” Costner said in a press release. “I am looking forward to bringing the production of this next installment of ‘Horizon’ to Washington County, and I want to thank Joyce Kelly who was tireless in her efforts to bring the west back to Utah and her beloved county and the Commission for their support in making that possible.”

The production will also provide internships and hands-on experience for film students at Utah Tech University, not to mention opportunities for local citizens to participate.

“This is the largest production that we’ve ever had in Washington County,” Kelly said. “I think he (Costner) chose our area because of our diverse landscape and, to be honest with you, the friendly atmosphere that we have here.”

Filming will take place in the northeastern most part of the Mojave Desert and adjacent to the Pine Valley Mountains, the release stated. Other notable projects in this area include “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “High School Musical 2” and Katy Perry’s “Rise” music video.

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Filming begins in St. George for Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon, an American Saga’