BREAKING: Kevin Costner is at the center of a world rights deal made with Atria Books for The Explorers Guild, an epic serialized illustrated adventure novel series that Costner hopes will transfer to multiple platforms including a feature film that he will star in and produce. The first book in the series, The Explorers Guild, Volume One: A Passage To Shambhala, will be published in 2014.
Costner told me he feels the book has the sweep of adventure classics he grew up reading, including Arabian Nights and The Red Badge Of Courage. He’s producing and developing the book with writer and art director Jon Baird, and it will be heavily illustrated by Rick Ross. The hope is to create a series that will have resonance for both a young-adult and mature audience.
Publishing is a new foray, but Costner is no stranger to sprawling historical-based projects, from Dances With Wolves to the recent Emmy-nominated History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which he starred in and produced. The Explorers Guild is a clandestine group of adventurers who seek out the places where light gives way to shadow, and reason is usurped by myth. The secrets of this unknown world are hidden in mountain ranges and lost in deserts, sunk to the ocean floor and lodged deep beneath polar ice. The aim of The Explorers Guild: to discover the mysteries that lie beyond the boundaries of the known world. The first adventure is set against the backdrop of World War I and revolves around the quest to find the mythic Buddhist city Shambhala. Guild members are looking for different things there: one hopes to save his brother’s life, another looks for spiritual enlightenment and peace; others fear it will bring mankind to the brink of apocalypse. The search includes treks to the Polar North, the Mongolian deserts and underground canals of Asia to the Himalayas. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline can now confirm the cast for this long gestating, highly anticipated action thriller that will be the first of an anticipated franchise trilogy. It resurrects the popular Tom Clancy character of CIA analyst Jack Ryan last seen on film in 2002 and now played by Chris Pine in the role already made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. After various starts and stops, bad luck and good fortune, Deadline also has learned that Jack Ryan finally has come together for a release in the 4th quarter of 2013.
Paramount chose to wait for Pine to complete the second installment of Star Trek in this contemporized original prequel story that picks up Ryan before he joined the CIA. (Paramount long ago locked in Pine after he played Captain Kirk.) His love interest and the female lead is Keira Knightley. Paramount was intensely searching because it’s a high profile role — an older version of the character was played by Anne Archer in the Harrison Ford films — and involves options that would potentially put the actress in three pictures.
As Deadline previously reported, Kevin Costner has an invented but key role as does the film’s director Kenneth Branagh who will play the Russian villain plotting to wreck the U.S. economy. Paramount began talks with the Thor helmer to replace the once-attached Jack Bender. Paramount courted Costner to become a linchpin in not only Jack Ryan but also the spinoff franchise Without Remorse based on Clancy’s 1993 novel. (The studio is now courting The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy to star, with Christopher McQuarrie rewriting to direct.) The deal that came together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film as William Harper, a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly from Without Remorse. Kelly later becomes CIA operative Clark.
Paramount like every studio is looking to build tentpoles and has a good opportunity for more than one here by cross-pollinating characters Ryan and Clark like The Avengers successfully keeps doing.
Branagh recently described the movie as “an original story that allows us to understand how Jack Ryan develops into a CIA analyst, before joining, and perhaps even joining, the CIA. It’s a very contemporary action thriller set in the here and now.” its launching point is mentioned in Clancy’s The Hunt For Red October book and film: a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year-old Marines platoon leader and the only member to survive.
Paramount Pictures and co-financier Skydance Productions went top shelf to get the franchise relaunch to the starting line and hired David Koepp for 7-figures to redraft the script by Adam Cozad known as Moscow. Cozad was a screenwriter without a screen credit and yet now is in the middle of some of the bigger projects in town. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you two weeks ago that Paramount was courting Kevin Costner to play a key role opposite Chris Pine in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan film. I’m told that Costner has now accepted and they are working … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It is clear from the record cable rating and 22 Emmy noms for the History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoysthat audiences want to see more of Kevin Costner, who starred as clan leader Devil Hatfield. Studios … Read More »
Here are a pair of teaser trailers for Zack Snyder‘s Man Of Steel starring Henry Cavill as the title character. They’re pretty much the same but each has different narration. This one is “Pa Kent” (Kevin Costner):
Anthony D’Alessandro is AwardsLine managing editor and contributor.
When it comes to the longevity of the Western, Kevin Costner remains an iconic voice for the genre. This time he’s extended his lasso around TV as the producer and star of History Channel’s first miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. Hitting record ratings for basic cable each of its three nights with a final 14.3 million, Hatfields’ success underscored the genre’s continuing popularity as well as Costner’s continuing potential as leading man. Costner Westerns hone in on the subtext and mores of standoffs against a blue sky, which are plentiful in Hatfields, rather than slow-motion blood and pungent dialogue that have peppered the likes of the Coen brothers’ True Grit and HBO’s Deadwood. Costner also doesn’t flinch at playing the bad guy, and his Devil Anse Hatfield is as potent as his turns in A Perfect World and Mr. Brooks. Given the TV Academy’s adoration for oaters (i.e., the four Emmy wins rallied by Robert Duvall’s Broken Trail including best actor and miniseries), expect Costner and Hatfields & McCoys to ride high in the saddle come nom time.
AWARDSLINE: How did the project come your way? Were you tracking this? KEVIN COSTNER: No, It came to me in a fairly traditional way. My agent had read it, knowing my sensibilities. While on the surface it didn’t seem like something I would do in terms of it being on TV — whatever everyone’s prejudice is — he understood I’m writer-driven and material-driven. He liked it enough that he asked me to read it and when I did, I knew immediately that I liked it enough to consider it. They asked me to direct it, but I was doing music over the summer and I couldn’t give it its proper prep.
EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Costner has dropped out of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, an exit I’m told is due to a combination of scheduling and personal reasons. Costner had agreed to play the supporting role of Ace Woody in the Sergio … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Superman is getting a new mom. Ayelet Zurer, the Israeli actress who starred in Angels & Demons and who played the wife of Avner (Eric Bana) in Munich, has been set to play the role of Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s … Read More »
Bill Paxton has been tapped for the second lead opposite Kevin Costner in History’s miniseries The Hatfields and McCoys, about America’s most infamous family feud. Kevin Reynolds (Red Dawn) has signed on to direct the mini, to be … Read More »
Warner Bros today released a first photo of British actor Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel, the franchise reboot that’s being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. Cavill stars with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, Julia Ormond, Russell Crowe, Chris Meloni, … Read More »
Warner Bros has pulled The Man of Steel from a planned late 2012 release date and has slotted it to open wide on June 14, 2013 release. The Zack Snyder-directed reboot of the Superman franchise feels like a summer film … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino never has trouble putting together good casts for his films, but his Sergio Leone-style Spaghetti Western Django Unchained is turning out to be quite something. Kevin Costner is in negotiations to join a cast that is headed … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Zack Snyder are in talks with Julia Ormond to play Superman’s Kryptonian mother, Lara Lor-Van, in Man of Steel. I expect the deal to make shortly. Russell Crowe has been offered the role of Jor-El, the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: History is revising America’s most infamous family feud with The Hatfields and McCoys, a miniseries starring Oscar winner Kevin Costner. Costner will play “Devil” Anse Hatfield and will produce the mini, which has been given a green light and will premiere next year, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the bloody war between the two clans that has become a popular metaphor for bitterly feuding rivals. The mini will be produced by Leslie Greif’s Thinkfactory Media. “The Hatfields and McCoys is a classic tale of American history,” History president and general manager Nancy Dubuc said. “These are names that are widely recognized, yet few people know the real story that made them famous.”
Greif said that The Hatfields and McCoys has been a passion project for him for more than 20 years. “It was realized the day I met Nancy Dubuc, she made a dream come true when she shared the same enthusiasm and vision for this epic American drama,” he said. “And then to be privileged and fortunate enough to have a superstar like Kevin Costner as “Devil” is beyond anything I could have imagined.” As an avid history fan, Costner said he was thrilled to join “this dramatic re-telling of a classic and timeless tale that is forever immersed in the folklore of our country.” The project takes Costner back to the post-Civil War era he previously depicted in Dances With Wolves. Ted Mann (Deadwood) wrote the script for the mini, with revisions by Ron Parker (Broken Trail). Greif will serve as an executive producer with Herb Nanas and Darrell Fetty producing for Thinkfactory. Dubuc and Dirk Hoogstra will EP for History.
EXCLUSIVE: At a time when organized crime films are back in vogue, Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh is wetting his beak. He’s acquired Ness/Capone, a Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black Script and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. That battle was famously chronicled in the Brian DePalma-directed movie based on the TV series The Untouchables. Myers went back to the history books and came away with a much different version of Ness. While Kevin Costner played him as an incorruptible married choirboy who had to be taught to meet the mob on its own crooked terms, Ness/Capone’s Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He paraded confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Deals are still being worked out, but the film will be produced by Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell along with Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Virgin Produced’s Jason Felts and Rene Rigal.
This puts Relativity Media in another potential pic race (it has already gone to the mattresses against Universal over rival Snow White films). Warner Bros has its own Capone project, the Walon Green-scripted Cicero, an origin story. I’ve reported that the project has interest from David Yates when he resurfaces from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, his fourth and final Potter pic. Warner Bros also is going gangbusters on Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed pic that has Sean Penn negotiating to play L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as the cops who try to bring him down. Read More »
After setting Henry Cavill for the lead role, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner for Ma and Pa Kent, Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and director Zack Snyder are working on a villain for Superman: Man of Steel. I’m … Read More »
BURBANK, CA, March 17, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Kevin Costner will play Jonathan Kent, the father who raised Clark Kent as his own son, in the new Superman movie to be directed by Zack Snyder.
Snyder stated, “Jonathan Kent is the only father figure Clark has ever had, the man who was there to help Clark understand what he was meant to do in the world as Superman. Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural American man who raised the greatest super hero of all time.”