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Kevin Costner reveals why Westerns are difficult to make

As one of the oldest and greatest genres around, the best Westerns aren't always easy. As Kevin Costner explains, they're particularly tricky for one reason.

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

Kevin Costner knows a thing or two about movies. Kevin Costner knows a thing or two about the best Westerns, especially. After all, he’s been in several. With films like Dances with Wolves, Wyatt Earp, and Silverado under his belt, he didn’t stop there. For a long while, he’s been starring in one of the best TV series around, and he’s got a new Western coming with the Horizon release date.

Yellowstone, which is a neo-Western series, stars Costner as John Dutton, a grumbling patriarch. Set in Montana by the Yellowstone national park, the drama series entwines some classic tropes with new mentalities, resulting in a shocking and at times twisted ‘ranch opera’.

While we’re still waiting to hear if the lead Yellowstone cast member will return for the Yellowstone season 5 part 2 release date, we’re still trusting him and his expertise on the subject of Westerns. And he’s been vocal about what’s difficult about the genre, and why it’s so hard to nail.

“Westerns specifically, they can look really dull,” he said [via CBS]. “They can look obvious. They’re hard to make, and that’s the problem. It’s like, it’s hard to make a Western that you can relate to.”

He’s right. When you consider the best movies in the genre, you may start to see a pattern. A sprawling desert, perhaps a tumbleweed or two…all the elements that made the Western great have become stereotypical in nature.

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

But Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan has an ability to shake-up the classic with the new, and it’s part of what makes Yellowstone (and many of the other best Taylor Sheridan TV series and movies) so great. Plus, the mainline Yellowstone series and its spin-offs all have one thing in common: they’re spectacular to look at.

Perhaps it was because Yellowstone was originally intended to be a movie. The resulting look and feel of the thriller series has made it stand out not only against its small screen contenders, but against the other modern-day Westerns, too.

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Although it might be hard to “relate” to the Duttons, given their expansive wealth and ability to get caught up in assassination attempts, kidnappings, and never-ending stream of enemies, there is a sense of accessibility that some of the classics often lack. Politics, law, and family dramas are the inner workings of this series. This, combined with the beautiful Montana landscape shot through a cinematic lens, makes it far and away one of the best offerings of the genre we have today.

For more on Yellowstone, check out our list of the 10 shows like Yellowstone to watch next, and everything we know about the 6666 release date. What’s more, we’ve got a breakdown of the 1923 cast, and a feature on why Dallas ran so Yellowstone could fly. Happy reading!