Kevin Costner’s career arc may be the great American story of redemption.
What began with a surge of notoriety and acclaim with titles like 1989′s “Field of Dreams” and continuing into the onset of the 1990′s with starring turns in flicks like “Dances with Wolves”, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, and “The Bodyguard”, Costner’s star was on the rise.
But what started as so-promising a career, quickly derailed in the mid-nineties with what may still be one of the biggest box-office bombs in Hollywood history. One that even now nearly twenty years later, is not easily forgotten.
The stains of 1995′s “Waterworld” still are hard to rinse away. That, and the opening scene of Costner drinking his own urine, apparently filtered through some type of “purification” system, left bad tastes in everyone’s mouth who bore witness to this maritime disaster.
“Waterworld” was an immediate stinker, and the ensuing years saw Costner seemingly grow more desperate in his search for any role to cleanse his palette of stale piddle, playing a womanizing golfer in “Tin Cup”, wandering as a post-apocalyptic civil servant in “The Postman”, a scruffy romanticizer in “Message In A Bottle”, and an uninspired Elvis-inspired bank-robber in “3000 Miles to Graceland”. None of which managed to rescue Costner from Hollywood’s no-man’s land.
Come 2007, the running gag of a Costner film being a guaranteed flop may have contributed to the success of the lower-budget, unassuming “Mr. Brooks”, which was a surprisingly serious and bone-chilling turn for the then fluffy-duffy, gee-shucks Costner. Costner’s name attracted an audience, perhaps not for the best reasons but nonetheless, it certainly brought lowered expectations to what turned out to be a successful film both financially and more importantly, finally giving Costner some traction to regain his former footing as “serious, respected ac-tor”.
With HBO’s “Swing Vote” in 2008 followed by some mainstream success with 2010′s “The Company Men”, the table finally seemed set for Kevin Costner to take back his seat and reclaim his fleeting glory. But, the question remained: what role would Costner be able to snag to showcase his underappreciated skills?
Enter Zack Snyder’s upcoming reboot of Superman: “Man of Steel”.
This article was first posted on May 29, 2013