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 …
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 …
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, …
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.
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.”
EXCLUSIVE: It’s all over but the press release! Almost a month after Deadline revealed that Kevin Costner was in early talks for a lead role in Superman: Man of Steel, I hear that he has closed a deal to …