Why Kevin Costner Is Taking Sienna Miller and His Female “Horizon” Costars with Him to Cannes (Exclusive)

Costner will debut his epic Western at the upcoming film festival

<p>Warner Bros. Pictures</p> Sienna Miller in Horizon: An American Saga: Chapter 1

Warner Bros. Pictures

Sienna Miller in Horizon: An American Saga: Chapter 1

Kevin Costner will be bringing the female cast members from his epic Western, Horizon: An American Saga, when he attends the film's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19.

"I'm taking seven of the women that are in the movie with me," the two-time Academy Award winner, 69, tells PEOPLE of the film, which stars Sienna MillerJena Malone, Abbey Lee, Sam Worthington and Luke Wilson.

"For Cannes, I really want to take these women who made a huge contribution to this movie."

Costner directed, co-wrote and stars in the film that features several overlapping stories of ambitious settlers in the 19th century as they clash with Indigenous people — and each other. He says the film depicts the hardships the women faced during that time.

<p>Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube</p> Horizon: An American Saga: Chapter 1

Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Horizon: An American Saga: Chapter 1

Related: Kevin Costner Says He Named Son Hayes, Who Makes Acting Debut in Horizon, After His Character in the Movie

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"Women are the reason the country goes forward," he says. "They were taken often against their own wishes. They were taken advantage of and they were resilient. I couldn't tell the story unless it revolved around them."

The saga will play out in four different films with the first two set to open in theaters on June 28 and Aug. 16. He says casting Miller, 42, was an easy decision for him.

"I think she's one of our great actresses. Her outward beauty is undeniable, but she's so skilled as an actress," he says. "There's something about Sienna's character that I think speaks to all women."

"Horizon is incredibly meaningful to me. It's really been the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's exactly what I want to do," Costner previously told PEOPLE in 2022. 

"A lot of times we measure ourselves against other generations," the Yellowstone star added when asked about why he’s drawn to the Western genre. "I think about what was at stake. How did people survive? There's a rawness and an unpredictability about it. I'm haunted by that."

For more on Kevin Costner, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

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