It appears that the unprecedented success of the television mini-series, Hatfields and McCoys has reawakened Hollywood’s faith in Kevin Costner. The former box office titian is now being considered for two high profile roles, having been offered the “co-lead” in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan reboot opposite Chris Pine, while also being at the top of the list to take the lead in Luc Besson’s Taken-esqe Three Days To Kill.
Costner was one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws throughout the 80s and 90s, anchoring a slew of high grossing films. Even 1995’s Waterworld, a perceived flop, grossed $88 million on its release at the domestic box office and over $264 million globally (unadjusted). The star has always forged his own unique path, choosing to star in (and direct) an eclectic mix of projects. These may not have always been successful, but they have all been interesting. In recent years Costner has taken a relaxed approach to his film career (starring in just 3 films since 2007), preferring to spend his time touring and recording with his band, (the rather good) Modern West.
However, it now looks like he’s about to get back on the acting saddle once more. According to Deadline:
“The Jack Ryan role is a new creation, but a close cousin to the role of CIA bigwig Admiral Greer that was played by James Earl Jones in Patriot Games. Costner’s role is being invented because Jones will likely be in the prequel, but essentially Costner would play Ryan’s mentor who recruits him and shows him the ropes.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Costner takes the role in Branagh’s film, as he previously turned down the part of Jack Ryan in John McTiernan’s The Hunt For Red October.
Three Days to Kill is a more interesting beast altogether, according to Deadline:
“Costner has been offered the role of Ethan Renner, a government assassin who is dying. Before he goes, he is determined to reconcile with his daughter, while taking on one final mission.”
Adi Hasak and Luc Besson wrote the script for the film, which (and this is the potential downside) may be directed by McG.
It is also now believed that Costner is no longer attached to Disney’s sporting drama, McFarland. However, he will be seen in the 2013’s Superman adventure, Man of Steel where he plays Jonathan Kent. He is also potentially in the mix for an all-star remake of The Magnificent Seven, which may (or may not) star Tom Cruise and Matt Damon.
I’m quite excited at this potential new phase in Kevin Costner’s career. As a long-time fan, I’ve been through the period where it was ‘uncool’ to like his work, however recent years have seen many of his so-called ‘lesser works’ reappraised. If you are ever in doubt of the man’s talents, then check out the critical and commercial run from 1987 to 1993, which saw him make The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Revenge, Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard and A Perfect World. That’s pretty impressive.