After The Media Accused Kevin Costner Of Nepotism For Casting His Son, Fans Angrily Jumped To His Defense

After The Media Accused Kevin Costner Of Nepotism For Casting His Son, Fans Angrily Jumped To His Defense

Kevin Costner is set to return to the big screen this summer with the first chapter of his Horizon: An American Saga film series. The upcoming films represent the realization of a dream for the actor/director, as he’s long been itching to tell this story. What seemingly makes that even sweeter for the star is that the production is a bit of a family affair for him. Costner cast his 15-year-old son, Hayes Logan Costner, to join the massive ensemble. That reveal, which came via a post Kevin shared months ago, has since been met with a considerable amount of backlash. The media and more have made mention of nepotism while making their case. However, a sum of Costner’s fans have since (somewhat angrily) jumped to his defense.

The 69-year-old filmmaker discussed the casting during a recent interview with The Today Show. Kevin Costner seems to be a proud papa and had nothing but sweet sentiments to share about his teenage son. Additionally, he also addressed the fact that there are plenty of other actors who could’ve filled the role:

He’s a beautiful boy, and he’s quiet. And I have not shoved my children into the business. I realize there’s so many young actors out there that would just kill to be in this movie, and I don’t want to take those parts away from them just cause I can place my own children in. But, in this sense, since it was a smaller part, I selfishly wanted him with me for the week, two weeks, he was with me. And we would drive to the set every day and he would whisper. He didn’t have a lot of experience, but he’s really beautiful in the movie.

While speaking to host Savannah Guthrie (in the clip shared on YouTube), the star – who won’t be returning to Yellowstone – referred to his son’s scene as “complicated.” Kevin Costner stated that, in the end, it’s the kind of moment you “don’t want a son to do,” but he was ultimately “proud” of the work Hayes did. Amid the chat, Guthrie also mentioned that the younger Costner shares the same name as the film’s lead protagonist, Hayes Ellison, who his father portrays. All in all, it sounds like Kevin was keen on having his son join him, and it sounds like he ultimately enjoyed their time together.

Nevertheless, there was still backlash following the announcement. Many of the comments fell in line with those shared throughout the “nepo baby” debate that was sparked a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, it seems that those who are in the Untouchables alum’s corner are just as passionate. Many of them took to X to make their thoughts known, and you can see some of them down below:

  • Hot take: if you pour your life earnings into making a movie, you get to cast whoever the fuck you want. - @hperryhorton
  • It’s HIS film he can put his entire family in it if he wants too dude paid millions to make it. - @samhelfilms
  • He risked his life savings to make a movie and you guys have a problem with him casting his son in the movie, really?! - @JardaniJovonovv
  • Man put everything on the line for this one. I think he's allowed to cast his son. - @Bigmac2nite1
  • If this were the much lauded 50s, 60s, or 70s, people would be applauding a family acting dynasty. - @BlueSmi97323806

A fair point was made in that Kevin Costner does have the right to cast whomever he deems right for a role. That’s not only because he’s the director, producer and lead actor but also because he invested a lot of his own money into the film series. So, in principle, he can indeed pick and choose who he wants to collaborate with here.

Horizon’s trailers tease that it’ll be a sprawling epic, one reminiscent of some of Kevin Costner’s past work. So far, critics seem divided on Costner’s first slice of this four-part saga, though audiences could always end up being a bit higher on it. Aside from all of that though, Costner himself simply seems to be enjoying the ride as he promotes the new film and continues to work on the latter two installments. I’d assume that his work with Hayes will probably stand out as a highlight of the collective experience. And that’s father-and-son time that naysayers can’t take away from them.

Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 is set to open in theaters on June 28, and Chapter 2 is set to open on August 28. For information on other upcoming big-screen titles, check out the 2024 movie schedule.