Payday Loans
Kevin Costner


  1. Mark Keyloun, Mike's Murder, 1981.      Some of Costner's early roles stayed on the cutting-room floor - here, the entire film did!  “Murdered by the Ladd Company,” believed Derbra Winger.  Kevin was among 200 unknowns seen to partner Winger. And he was “star material” according to casting man Wally Nicita. “Without batting an eye, Kevin gave an absolute perfect, incredible, cold reading - and he was gorgeous. The kid just had it when he walked into that room... all the natural instincts of the greats.”  James Bridges did not agree. And who's ever heard of Keyloun?
  2. William Hurt, Body Heat, 1981.       For his directing debut, writer Lawrence Kasdan rejected three actors who went on to make his second film, The Big Chill: Tom Berenger, Kevin Kline and  Costner.
  3. Richard Gere, An Officer and a Gentleman, 1981.    The way too busy Jeff Bridges (in three films that year) was director Taylor Hackford’s first Zack Mayo.  Next, John Travolta, Dennis Quaid and Christopher Reeve were seen. Kevin Costner, John Denver, Kurt Russell, John Travolta and Ken Wahl simply refused.Hackford said that Bill Treusch, manager of Eric Roberts, got in the way of any possible director-actor teamanship. Gere turned this down eight or nine times,” recalled director Taylor Hackford.  Until producer Don Simpson “just madehim do it.”So it was Gere who literally swept Debra Winger off her feet. Denver never looked strong enough to sweep her carpet.
  4. Michael Nouri, Flashdance, 1982.       Potential Nick Hurleys were: Costner (runner-up to Nouri), Pierce Brosnan, Live Aid creator Bob Geldof, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Burt Reynolds, rocker Gene Simmons, John Travolta… plus such surprises as Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci!   At 36, Nouri was double the age of the flashdancing Jennifer Beals.
  5. Michael Madsen, WarGames, 1983.       He left to be the dead pal in The Big Chill… a nd landed on the cutting-room floor.
  6. Kurt Russell, Swing Shift, 1983.       Next to read with Goldie Hawn after Kevin left was Kurt, deemed “awful cute but too young for me” when they met briefly during her audition for her first film, Disney’s The One And Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, 1968.   She got lost on Dopey Drive and asked a passing woman the way. “That woman,” said Russell at his audition, “was my mother.” The two stars have lived together ever since this film.
  7. Patrick Swayze, Grandview, USA, 1984.     His American  Flyer director John Badham wanted him. Not vice-versa.
  8. John Malkovich, The Killing Fields, 1984.      Kevin tried to get in and failed.Costner v Puttnam, Part One.
  9. Robert Urich, The Ice Pirates, 1984.      He refused.  “I’m the rat going forward on the treadmill.  From the outside, it might look like I’m going in circles, but I feel I’m going like hell.:
  10. Eric Stoltz, Mask, 1985.     “They came to me with this picture called Mask,” recalled director Peter Bogdanovich in 2015.Not a very good script but it surely was an interesting story because it was a true story.” About a horribly disfigured kid and his biker mother.  Cher was Mom and her lad, Rocky, was aimed at Rob Lowe and Costner also tested and “the doubt of success crept in.  I was the kid in the back seat asking:  When are we going to get there?”
  11. Christophe(r) Lambert, HIghlander, 1985.   Once Sean Connery refused the lead (for the splashier role of the 2,000-year-old Ramirez), finding the titular and immortal Connor MacLeod was not easy.  Kurt Russell actually won the role but his lover, Goldie Hawn, insisted he stay home; he dealt with Big Trouble in Little China, instead. So you can imagine the anguish of the six producers when, after also being turned down by Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Hulk Hogan, William Hurt, David Keith, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Marc Singer (the too busy top choice), Sting (also asked for a song), Patrick Swayze and Peter Weller… that they discovered that Australian director Russell Mulcahy’s French choice of the new Tarzan, Christophe(r) Lambert, could hardly speak English.  He learned. In six weeks.

  12. Mel Gibson, Mrs Soffel, 1985.       “But I never questioned being on the right road.”

  13. Jeff Bridges, Jagged Edge, 1985.    After Costner passed, Bridges was lined up as Jane Fonda’s leading man. Then, she was dropped and replaced by Glenn Close. Bridges and Fonda were eventually re-teamed up for The Morning After, 1986. 
  14. Tom Berenger, Platoon, 1986.
  15. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.      In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs - not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!) Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, even the well known Welsh actor, Mr Die Hard, himself, aka Bruce Willis… Some were inspired:  Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly), William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden), Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops: Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  16. Nicolas Cage, Raising Arizona, 1987.       Kevin auditioned three times for the Coens, Joel and Ethan, for HI McDunnough.  Or, Herbert to his Ma.
  17. Sean Penn, Shanghai Surprise, 1987.    He spurned $1m.  Well, he had noticed when he kept saying no, the price went up. Reaching $800,000 that year for The Untouchables.
  18. Michael Douglas, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
  19. Harrison Ford, Frantic, 1987.     Wanted: For a Roman Polanski thriller… an open-faced, all-American boy, honest, trustworthy, fairly strong physically, someone who becomes what he isn’t - frantic. When his wife disappears from their Paris hotel suite - phffft! like that - while he’s in the shower. Polanksi considered Costner, Jeff Bridges, Dustin Hoffman, then had dinner in Paris with ET scenarist Melissa Mathison to discuss Steven Spielbegr’s Tintin project. And she brought hubby along…
  20. Tom Berenger, Betrayed, 1988.  Ev   eryone advised him against refusing Costa-Gavras’ heavy racist tract for a second consecutive baseball film.  Everyone wuz wrong.  The second ball movie was director Phil Alden Robinson’s simply gorgeous Field of Dreams.

  21. Jason Patric, The Beast, 1988.    
    Costner v Puttnam, Part Two.   “You haven’t got a monopoly on passion,” Kevin told David Puttnam when the Columbia chief, with all the insight that rapidly made him the ex-chief by release time, refused to let Kevin Reynolds cast his Fandango pal as deputy commander of the title Russian tank in the Afghan war. Costner wanted to help his friend’s third  feature win more attention by being in it.  They made Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, 1991, and the infamously expensive Waterworld in 1995 - and broke apart each time.
     all about how women were going to take him down… And that was the movie that we ended up making. Hopper’s Last Tango In Texas was hailed by Chicago critic Roger Ebert as a superior work in an old tradition.” He wuz right!
  22. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1988.
  23. Willem  Dafoe, Mississippi Burning, 1988.       The screen relationship with Gene Hackman - his partner in No Way Out - was too similar to that opposite Sean Connery in The Untouchables.
  24. Dennis Quaid, Everybody’s All American (UK: When I Fall In Love), 1988.       He preferred a field of baseball to one for football.
  25. Michael Douglas, The War of the Roses, 1989.       “I really wanted to do it [with Debra Winger], but Revenge got in the way.”
  26. Alec Baldwin, The Hunt For Red October, 1989.       Costner and Ford passed on the first film of the Thomas Clancy books about CIAanalyst Jack Ryan. “Harrison was always my first choice from the moment I read the book,” said producer Mace Neufeld. “But he wanted to play the Russian submarine commander.” “It was,” said Ford, “the better part.” Ford headlined the next two Ryan thrillers andCostner  was Commander Thomas Harper, the boss and mentor  of the fourth Ryan, Chris Pine, in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 2012.  Costner was no Clancy fan.  He just wanted to work with co-star and director, Kenneth Branagh.
  27. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.       ’Tis the season of cops. Three in succession…   UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars - Costner, Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta - and four outsiders Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver - all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville. 
  28. Kurt Russell, Tango & Cash, 1989.  Cop duos were in…  Sylvester Stallone was Raymond Tango – without question. But who would he accept as his  cop pardner, Gabriel Cash? After Patrick Swayze ran (to solo billing in Road House), the list was long… Costner, Michael Biehn, Pierce Brosnan, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, Liam Neeson, Michael Nouri, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid, Gary Sinise. Plus two  later Sly co-stars: Bruce Willis and James Woods. They aLL lost out on the debatable pleasure of four directors! From the Russian Andrei Konchalovsky to, secretly, Stallone..!  
  29. Patrick Swayze, Next of Kin, 1989.   Finally... country bumpkins v the Mafia. Again. For the hero of his respun Raw Deal, 1985, UK director John Irvin went from The Obvious Aces: Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis… to the Tango and Cash possibles: Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kurt Rusell… plus The Also-Rans: Tommy Lee Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Dennis Quaid. And even French Christopher Lambert, Swedish Dolph Lundgren and Belgian Jean Claude Van Damme… for a Chicago cop!

  30. Don Johnson, The Hot Spot, 1990.  
    Robert Mitchum was the matrix for drifter Harry Madox - and first choice in 1962. Nearly 30 years later, it was to be Mickey Rourke and Debra Winger. Or Costner, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, Tom Selleck, Sam Shepard, Patrick Swayze opposite Ane Archer, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Theresa Russell, Uma Thurman and ultimately, Virginia Madsen. Not necessarily for this movie…   Replacing director Mike Figgis, Dennis Hopper totally changed the entire gig!    
     In a 2014 AV Club interview, Johnson explained how three days before shooting began Dennis “called a meeting. ‘OK, we’re not making that script. We’re making this one.’And he passed a script around the table that had been written for Robert Mitchum in the ’60s... based on a book called Hell Hath No Fury… Wow! The Figgis script was really slick and cool, and it was a heist movie. But this was real noir. The guy was an amoral drifter, and it was all about how women were going to take him down… And that was the movie that we ended up making.”  Hopper’s Last Tango In Texas was hailed by  Chicago critic Roger Ebert as “a superior work in an old tradition.”  He wuz right!

  31. Harrison  Ford, Presumed Innocent, 1989.  One of many he passed due to 18 months of wolf dancing - shooting for five months. “If you’re going to be an ass as a director, you'd better be a good one.”
  32. Rob Lowe, Bad Influence, 1990.     Kevin did not play a villain until the serial killing Mr Brooks in 2007.

  33. Bill  Campbell, The Rocketeer, 1990.      Johnny Depp, Vincent D’Onofrio, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Modine, Bill Paxton, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell were also in  the Disney frame for Cliff Secord flying around 30s’ LA in Alan Arkin’s rocket backpack. When  interviewing Campbell -  in Paris for the opening -  he told me he’d spent the previous night climbing the North face of…  Notre Dame cathedral!  For fun. Not a camera in sight. 

  34. Robert Downey Jr, Air America, 1990.      Bill Murray parachuted, emphasis switched to Costner - “not known, too pricey.”

  35. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy, 1990.       Too young.  Too busy.  Dancing in temperatures ranging from 115 down to-20.

  36. Tom Hanks, Bonfire of the Vanities, 1990.   Still dancing with his two wolves, 42 period wagons, 300 horses, 500 extras, 3,500 buffalo.
  37. Michael Madsen, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  38. John Heard, Home Alone, 1990.  For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered - including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other potential Pops were Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jeff Daniels, Tony Danza, John Goodman, Charles Grodin, Tom Hanks, Robert Hays, Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Ed O’Neill, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Skerritt, Robin Williams… and the inevitable unknowns: Broadway’s Mark Linn-Baker,  Canadian musicians-comics  Alan Thicke ("the affordable William Shatner")  and Dave Thomas.
  39. Billy Crystal, City Slickers, 1990. Facing 40, three Manhattan dudes book into a dude ranch and join a cattle drive and… a perfect comedy!  Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Michael J. Fox Tom Hanks, Mike Myers, Dennis Quaid were the outsiders for  Mitch - won by Crystal, who worked on the script without credit. Robin Williams was offered his choice of the trio but was Hook-ed by Steven Spielberg. Chicago critic Roger Ebert noted: “So many ways this movie could have gone wrong… that it's sort of astonishing, how many ways it finds to go right.”

  40. Alec Baldwin, The Marrying Man, 1991.      Now editing what Hollywood was calling Kevingate. Would have been better box-office than the reported shenanigans of Baldwin and future bride Kim Basinger.
  41. Nick Nolte, The Prince of Tides, 1991.       Director and star Barbara Streisand offered him the role of the unemployed, aimless and miserably married Tom Wingo.
  42. Willem Dafoe, White Sands, 1991.   Having starred in director Roger Donaldson’s No Way Out, 1986, Costner was the Aussie’s first choice for the hero who had never seen Antonioni/Nicholson’s The Passenger and so never learned that taking over another man’s identity can blow up in the face. But Kevin was way too pricey for the modest thriller. (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was The Girl - and Costner chose her as  Maid Marian opoosite his 1990 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).  
  43. Patrick Bergin, Robin Hood, 1991.      Suddenly, Robin Hood was The Hero again, with two, then three films planned.   Costner wanted one - when the script was right - but no sequel!   He committed to one and then, another company cannily signed his buddy, Kevin Reynolds, to direct theirs.  “Did Morgan  Creek know that Kevin would be more interested in working with me, as a friend, than with John McTiernan at Fox?  I don't know. They probably did.  Did they hire me because they wanted to try to lure Kevin away from the Fox project?  I don't know.  They probably did.”
  44. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  45. Gary Cole, Son of the Morning Star, TV, 1991.     “Costner is Custer” ran the NBC ads. Only he wasn’t. Held up on an movie, he was substituted by Cole - in his all-time favourite role - as the project becamea TV rather than Republic cinema release.
  46. Andy Garcia, Hero, 1992.   One Capraesque tale was enough.
  47. Robert De Niro, Mad Dog and Glory, 1992.     An offer from co-producer Martin Scorsese - to be a timid police photographer, given a girl called Glory for a week by a grateful gangster. De Niro swopped roles with Bill Murray to become Mr Shy Guy.
  48. Dennis Hopper, Super Mario Brothers, 1992.  Wiser than some, Costner, Michael Keaton and Arnold Schwarzenegger fled from being King Koopa… in Disney’s flop of the year. Shooting was a bitch. Hopper blew his top about the forever changing script and reportedly raged for almost three hours against the directors, who shall remain nameless.  Hopper’s six-year-old son asked why he made the movie. 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes.” Henry said:  “Dad, I don't need shoes that badly.”
  49. Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, 1993.     Due to their work in No Way Out, 1986, Costner and Gene Hackman were high-listed for the modern-day Valjean and Javert…  Last time Dr Richared Kimble went on the lam, it took 120 hours  during 1963-1967 to prove he didn’t kill his wife.  Ford managed it in 130 minutes. After surpassing Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia,  Richard Gere, Mel Gibson (also up for the relentless cop, Gerard), Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte (director Walter Hill’s choice, but Andrew Davis made the movie - the fourth in his home town, Chicago), Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzengger.
  50. Kevin  Kline, Dave, 1993.       Yes, one touch of Frank Capra was obviously enough, as Costner backed away (after Warren Beatty and Arnold Schwarzengger) from Ivan Reitman's comedy about a US President’s double.  HIs Oval Office set was cast next in The American President and Nixon in 1994 and The West Wing, 1999-2006.

  51. Liam Neeson, Schindler's List, 1993.  
     “I very much wanted to play Schindler!” said Costder. “There was a moment when I wanted to direct that movie and so I would've played Schindler” - the German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews. Steven Spielberg was still shying off stars - well, look what they did to Hook.   “Liam did a spectacular test.  I like the fact that he’s not a star - won’t bring much baggage to the character.” The result finally won Spielberg his first Oscar on March 21, 1994.  (Kevin has a son called Liam).

  52. Keanu Reeves, Speed, 1993. There were 22 stars queuing for Die Hard On A Bus. From A Listers Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, even Mr Die Hard, himself, Bruce Willis … to the B group: Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Bruce Campbell, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Tom Selleck… and two also-rans Bruce Campbell and Chuck Norris.

  53. Sam Neill, Jurassic Park, 1993.

  54. Tim Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption, 1993.   He passed on escaping jail as Andy Dufresne to spend more time (not enough, it seemed) on his pet project, Waterworld.  Charlie Sheen basically offered to make it for free! But Jeff Bridges, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner (drowning in Waterworld), Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks (busy Forrest Gumping) were in the loop for clever Andy Dufresne – the jailed banker once handled the finances of KurtDussander, according to Apt Pupil, another of the filmed short stories from Stephen King’s 1982 collectiopn, Different Seasons.  The title baffled the public (until smashed DVD records). It had been Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, and director Frank Darabont was swamped by agents touting their glamour pusses to play Rita… in the 43rd of King’s staggering 313 screen credits.

  55. Michael Keaton, The Paper, 1993.    For another of his tepid movies, director Ron  Howard mused over Costner, Alec Baldwin, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell, John Travolta and Robin Williams for Henry Hackett, the New York Sun‘s metro editor...   who tells his editor-in-chief (a superb Robert Duvall - is there any other kind?): “Every day I’m behind from the minute I get up.”

  56. Dennis Hopper, Waterworld, 1994.      After the first month’s shooting, the Kevins - Costner and Reynolds - still had no villain.  Well, Costner  - already doubling as producer and star - wanted to be both hero and villain!  Instead, they looked at Gary Busey, James Caan, Laurence Fishburne, Gene Hackman, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman. Before playing safe.
  57. Woody Harrelson, The Cowboy Way, 1994.       Kevin was working on the material, when Glenn Close started campaigning for her then lover. “They walked down the beach to my house, unannounced,” said producer Brian Grazer, “and she went on and on and on talking about Woody in the third person.  Such a typical Hollywood story.”
  58. Kurt Russell, Tombstone, 1994       .Did his own OK Corral - and lost the battle.
  59. Woody Harrelson, Natural Born Killers, 1994.     Warners wanted strong names, Stone wanted Harrelson. And the studio asked: Is he nuts?

  60. Brad Pitt, Se7en, 1994.       Costner  and Nicolas Cage  were in the mix for young cop David Mills  investigating murders inspired by  the seven deadly sins in  Ridley Scott’s  “dark, grisly, horrifying and intelligent thriller” (as per Roger Ebert).   Pitt made an appropriate  $7m.
  61. Ed Harris, China Moon, 1995.     Miami homicide cop for cameraman turned director John Bailey.
  62. Tom Hanks, Apollo 13, 1995.     Hanks was thisclose with the Imagine team (Brian Glazer, Ron Howard) responsible for his first real Splash.
  63. Liam Neeson, Michael Collins, 1996,  Scripts had been sent over the years to  Costner (he’d planned his own version, Mick, in 1991), Gabriel Byrne, and Robert Redford before the obvious Irishman played the  Irish revolutionary - dead at 31. Costner was 40, Neeson 43, Byrne 45 and  Redford 59… but  not when he spent time researching the subject in Dublin.  By ’95 he was – even more so than Costner - into directing.
  64. Val Kilmer, The Ghost and The Darkness, 1996.    Paramount would only go ahead with Costner, Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson although writer William Goldman was sure none “would sit around while the lions ate the movie.”
  65. George Clooney, One Fine Day, 1996.     “Men will like him because he’s a viable advocate for their position.   And women, obviously, love him.”   Michael  Hoffman could have been discussing Costner…  only it was Clooney.
  66. Val Kilmer, The Saint, 1996.      Roger Moore played Simon Templar for 118 tele-chapters, stayed with the company making Return of the Saint with Ian Ogilvy. His 80s and 90s plans were to produce a St Pierce Brosnan (!) or being the ageing hero, finding his illegitimate Saint son - nearly Ralph Fiennes for director Sydney Pollack. “It was a troubled production,” said Moore. Final director was Philip Noyce and Moore was out - “first time I was paid not to act in a film” - and junior Saints were in. George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny Depp, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant, even Arnold Schwarzenegger.   Plus a certain James Healey, the Irish-born Aussie who actually rejected Mad Max for its sparse dialogue (!) in 1978, leaving the superstar route clear for Gibson. Oh and thje terrible Kilmer, of course. who later admitted to Moore: “We really screwed that up, didn’t we?”  We?!
  67. Matthew McConaughey, A Time To Kill, 1996.       The studio wanted Kevin. He wanted total control. John Grisham, the (powerful) novelist, refused.
  68. Brion James, The Fifth Element, France, 1996.     Auteur Luc Besson deigned to ask the Dances With Wolves superstar for the secondary role of General Munroe.   Bruce Willis had the lead.  Besson finally won  Costner (and got him a career Cesar award) on  3D2K – Three Days To Kill). 2013,  another of the Besson empire’s auctioners usually, er, Taken by Liam Neeson.
  69. Will Patton, The Postman, 1997.       “Yes, I thought of playing the evil character Bethlehem. Then, I put on my producer’s hat and realised while it was a flashy role, it’d be a  mistake for me... a disaster filmically.  The only reason to play Bethlehem would be... vanity.”

  70. Harrison Ford, Air Force One, 1997.      
    The action-man POTUS was written for Costner. .“Every time I asked precise questions about the role, I was told: It’s gonna be an enormous hit. That put me off it and I recommended Harrison.” And wentg off to direct himself as The Postman. If case Ford demurred, the next President Marshalls included Tom Hanks, Tommy Lee Jones (Bill Clinton’s Havard room-mate), John Malkovich (a wannabe presidential assassin during In The Line of Fire, 1992), Dennis Quaid (brother Randy had played LBJ), Keanu Reeves (at 28?), and ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger. The current Prez, Bill Clinton, loved the movie; and the 45th POTUS, Donald Trump, was inspired by it - “Harrison Ford on the plane... He stood for America!” Quizzed on TV about this, Ford turned to the camera and wearily said: “Donald, it was just a movie. Things like this don't happen in real life.”

  71. Nicolas Cage, Snake Eyes, 1998.  Brian De Palma required $75m. No, said the studio,  $65m. He  tried and came up with $72m. OK, said the studio, if you use one of these stars:  Nicolas Cage, Costner, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson.    

  72. Sean Penn, The Thin Red Line, 1998.   In March 1995, Costner  joined Lukas Haas, Ethan Hawke, Dermot Mulroney, Martin Sheen, among others, in the first reading  of  auteur Terrence Malick's first script for 20 years at producer Mike Medavoy’s house. Other stars wondered if Malick still had “it” after such a long lay-off.  He did. Then the threw it all away with one too many, call ‘em what you will, iconoclastic/pretentious movies. (Sidney Lumet had come close to filming “the best novel of war.”)    

  73. Michael Keaton, Jack Frost, 1998. A jazz musician dies and comes back  - as Frosty The Snowman - to help out his sad son.  Costner, Tim Allen, George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, and Billy Bob Thornton (the 2002 Bad Santa)  all passed.  They’d seen the Jim Henson/ILM designs for the snow-er-creature. “The most repulsive single creature in the history of special effects,” said Chicago critic Roger Ebert, “and I am not forgetting the Chucky doll or the desert intestine from Star Wars.”  

  74. Bruce Willis, Armageddon, 1998. Willis was more experienced at saving  the world.  Or, America, at least

  75. Harrison Ford, Random Hearts, 1999.   Kevin Costner and Dustin Hoffman passed but Ford, a nifty picker-upper of roles, fell for Sydney Pollack’s film about people finding that their partners (killed in an air crash) we were lovers.

  76. Kevin Spacey, American Beauty, 1999.     Chevy Chase, Jeff Daniels, Tom Hanks, Woody Harrelson, John Travolta and Bruce Willis  were also in the mix for the miserable spouse/father, Lester Burnham. UK stage director Sam Mendes fought hard  for Spacey. “There’s one thing better than having a really good actor, and that’s having a really good actor who has never done this kind of role before.” Spacey won his second Oscar despite masturbating in the shower - the high point of Lester’s day: “it's all downhill from here.”

  77. Mark Wahlberg, Planet of the Apes, 2000.   Dial-a-hero time at Fox as Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Patrick Swayze were contacted for the Charlton Heston substitute, Captain Leo Davidson, in the unnecessary re-hash of the 1967 classic. “It is what it is,” said a disappointed Wahlberg. “They didn't have the script right. Fox had a release date before Tim Burton   had shot a foot of film. They were pushing him and pushing him in the wrong direction. You have to let Tim do his thing." A surprise choice at the helm, Burton said he’d rather jump out a window than make any sequel.

  78. Michael Douglas, Traffic, 2000.   Stupid decision - it proved the film of the year! Douglas brought something extra to the Soderbergh ensemble - a pregnant  actress lover!

  79.  Alec Baldwin, Pearl Harbor, 2000.  Michael Bay’s dream scheme was Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow as the three pretty leads (only Ben was available) and Costner as Colonel James Dolittle.  Or Twolittle, as Costner apparently thought.

  80. Russell Crowe, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   The choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital.  Which had me wondering  why  Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and  Bruce Willis   were on the short-list!    Then again they might have proved as surprising as Crowe. Director Ron Howard’s other candidates included \ Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson,  Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt. Nash  liked the  six-Oscar-winner. “But it wasn't me."

  81. Clive Owen, Beyond Borders, 2002.  
     Producer Peter Guber claimed everyone attached to the film became so fed-up with Costner’s demands that he was fired. “When an actor tries to control a project’s destiny,” wrote Guber, “they only control their own. Foreign distributors didn’t want him,  Stone didn’t want him, audiences didn’t want him and neither did we."  Ralph Fiennes replaced him - but left when director Oliver Stone quit.  Owen was at RADA with Fiennes.  But no onecould save this turkey.   Budget: $35m,  US take: $4.5m.

  82. David Carradine, Kill Bill: Vol 1 & 2, 2003-2004 .      Warren Beatty pulled out and Kevin was away aactor-directing Open Range.
  83. Paul Giamatti, Lady in the Water, 2005.   Costner was being run up the flagpole for the hero of director M Night Shyamalan’s seventh fantasy - a sad sack apartment block manager called Cleveland Heep who gets involved with Story, a Narf from the Blue World.  Now read on...
  84. Nicolas Cage, World Trader Center, 2006.      Director Oliver Stone contacted A-Listers George Clooney, Mel Gibson. Costner was attached for a  spell. Then, Stone discovered his agent had also sent a script to Cage.
  85. Patrick Wilson, Watchmen, 2008.     Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Juvenal asked, but who them playeth? In the 90’s when Paramount was into a script by Sam Hamm (Batman, 1988) based on Alan Moore’s forcibly retired superheroes were called back to duty in an alternate 1985 America... Costner, John Cusack, Nathan Fillion, Richard Gere, Joaquin Phoenix were up for the athletically-intellectually brilliant (192 IQ) Dan Dreiberg   (aka Nite Owl II), , with more gadgets than 007. (Fillion was also shortlisted for Edward Morgan Blake aka The Comedian).
  86. Larry Hagman, Dallas, TV, 2011.         Efforts were made since 2002 to reboot the iconic 1978-1992 series (and tele-films) for the cinema. Result?  This pilot for a 2012 series...  about JR and Bobby’s rival sons.  Directors, stars, genres changed: Robert Luketic, Gurinder Chadha quit, Betty Thomas was to shoot a Southfork comedy; Drew Barrymore, Minka Kelly, Catherine Zeta-Jones were named for Pam, James Brolin as Jock and Jane Fonda, Diane Ladd or Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie. Despite some talk of Costner, Mel Gibson and Tommy Lee Jones, Travolta remained #1 choice for the villainous oil tycoon JR Ewing.   Finally, the original JR led the old-timers returning to their (very) old roles.  Series died in 2014.
  87. James Remar, Django Unchained, 2011.

  88. Alec Baldwin, Rise of the Guardians, 2011.    Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Albert Finney and Kevin Spacey were also on DreamWorks voice list for North, aka Santa Claus (complete with tatts and a Russian accent) leader of guardians  (Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, Tooth Fairy, etc) protecting childhood, itself, from Jude Law’s dreaded Pitch Black.
  89. George Clooney, Gravity, 2013.       When Robert Downey Jr ejected from the science fiction marvel (“technology and Robert are incompatible,” explained Alfonso Cuaron), the Mexican auteur talked “with a bunch of people” for astronaut Matt Kowalski - Costner, Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks (he loves astronauts, right?), John Travolta, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis. Most backed off, annoyed that the woman astronaut, Sandra Bullock, had most of the film entirely to herself. “More like 2001 than an action film,” said a delighted Clooney.

  90. Tom Berenger. Hatfields & McCoys, TV, 2012.
    “I make Westerns  because I want to, not because the timing is right.”   Costner’s feud mini-series scored  up to a staggering 14.3m viewers on the History Channel.  As producer, he had a wide choice of characters to choose from. “I thought about playing Jim Vance… loved that role...”

  91. Andrew Howard. Hatfields & McCoys, TV, 2012.  “...I liked “Bad” Frank but it made more sense for me to play Devil Anse Hatfield.  I had to put my producer’s hat: What was the right place for me to be?  Not: How can I surprise people... Devil Ansemade the most sense and, I got involved in this as any role I ever had.”   
  92. Billy Bob Thornton, Trial, TV, 2015.       Amazon made global headlines when securing Costner for a series for is new TV wing. But as the cliché goes: talks fell through. Billy Bob jumped at Billy McBride, a US Rumpole of the Bailey type, hot-shot lawyer laid low and suddenly going head-to-head against his former partner. Script by David E Kelley and his Practice and Boston Legal producer, Jonathan Shapiro.
  93. Peter Sarsgaard, The Magnificent Seven, 2016.    Due for some shock villainy reminiscent of Henry Fonda in Once Upon  A Time in the West, Costner passed. Easily. Director Antoine Fuqua’s guys were no match for the celebrated originals they were desecrating.  No wonder that Christian Bale, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Wagner Moura also passed on the re-hash. Two more flew to Marvel: Benedict Cumberbatch for Doctor Strange, Jason Momoa became Aquaman.Having made  Training Dayand The Equaliser together, it was obvious whodirectorAntoine Fuqua, wanted to lead the gang. “Denzel’s all about the work… He gives his heart.” Body count was so absurdly high that it should have been named after the guy playing Josiah.  Billy Slaughter.







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