Movies

Kevin Costner Wasted 6 Years Chasing Clint Eastwood’s 96%-Rated Classic Western

Kevin Costner Wasted 6 Years Chasing Clint Eastwood’s 96%-Rated Classic Western
Image credit: Warner Bros, Orion Pictures

You can't always get what you want.

Kevin Costner's acting career was once a fairy tale, when every movie he starred in became world famous and commercially successful.

At the beginning of his star journey, Kevin tried to create the image of a bad guy, but the audience saw the warmth and charm that he tried to hide. And Costner began to play strong, sometimes cold-blooded characters who still had weaknesses hidden behind the actor's charm.

A strong bodyguard who protects his love; the fearless Robin Hood who fights for justice; a US Army lieutenant who dances with wolves – it’s all Kevin Costner.

The One Cult Western Movie That Costner Didn’t Make

As if his acting achievements were not enough, Costner is also one of the few directors in the world whose debut film won an Academy Award in the Best Picture category. But not all of his directing dreams have come true.

Kevin Costner Wasted 6 Years Chasing Clint Eastwood’s 96%-Rated Classic Western - image 1

In an interview, the actor and director admitted that for many years he wanted to make one of the best westerns in history, but he never succeeded:

”I chased Unforgiven as a director for six years. So I’m not looking for everything to end rosy.”

Unforgiven Is a Modern Western Classic

Unforgiven, directed by Clint Eastwood and released in 1992, was not only warmly received by audiences (its Rotten Tomatoes rating is now an impressive 96%), but also by cinematographers, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Kevin Costner Wasted 6 Years Chasing Clint Eastwood’s 96%-Rated Classic Western - image 2

It also received critical acclaim, being named one of the top 100 American films by the American Film Institute and one of the top ten Westerns of all time.

Eastwood, who had never been nominated for an Oscar, admitted that he thought Unforgiven would be the end of the western genre. It turned out the opposite: David Webb Peoples' script and Eastwood gave the genre a second life.

Unforgiven’s Brilliant Screenplay Has Been Waiting for Decades to Be Filmed

The screenplay by David Webb Peoples was written in 1976, and its potential was recognized even then. In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola, who had never turned to the western genre, showed interest in it, as did the aforementioned Kevin Costner; the role of the main character, Will Munny, was offered to Gene Hackman, among others, who later still won his Oscar for Unforgiven, for the role of Little Bill Daggett.

In the end, Eastwood bought the rights to the script, but kept it on the shelf for a long time, believing that he was not old enough to play the part.

Source: Entertainment Weekly