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The Kevin Costner “Comeback Express” continues to gain steam. Next year, audiences will see the once-powerful A-lister as Pa Kent in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, followed by a part in the Tom Clancy adaptation Jack Ryan, with Chris Pine in the lead. Now the trades say Costner’s taking charge of two projects that speak to his storytelling sensibilities, and could keep his acting career rolling right along.
Deadline, for starters, says Costner is circling the worldwide rights to The Explorers Guild, an illustrated adventure novel series that Costner would like to convert into multiple platforms, including an animated series and a film franchise, in which Costner would star. The actor compares the scope of the project to epic films from his youth, including The Red Badge of Courage or Arabian Nights. The stories would follow a group of explorers on heart-racing journeys to various locations, from the tops of cavernous mountains to the bottom of the ocean.
“[The book series] represents the highest level of storytelling that lends itself to numerous platforms and if the words are protected, this can find a place as a premium content series, animated and live, and a feature,” Costner said. “It feels like one of those billion-dollar babies that sometimes blow up with a high degree of literacy and commercial appeal. We are looking for the right kind of partner who recognizes this. … This can turn into an example of great original storytelling.”
If Explorer’s Guild sounds reminiscent of Dances With Wolves or even Waterworld, then the football comedy Draft Day has Costner drifting back toward his Bull Durham or Tin Cup roots. The Wrap reports that Costner is being recruited for Ivan Reitman’s directorial effort, currently set up at Paramount. He’d play the general manager of the Buffalo Bills. That’s interesting that the movie is using an actual NFL franchise.
Which of Costner’s projects most interests you? Are you glad he’s going back to carrying vehicles? Or does he do his best work in support?