It might be hard for you young'uns to remember, but Kevin Costner used to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He's become something of a punchline now, but when he finds the right role, there are few actors more charming. He hasn't had a real blockbuster hit in over a decade, but I wouldn't rule out a comeback just yet. He certainly didn't find it with his latest film, Mr. Brooks. Like most people, I missed that one in theaters, but I do like Costner in darker roles. He gave arguably his finest performance in Clint Eastwood's excellent and strangely neglected A Perfect World. Next, Mr. Costner will self-finance Swing Vote, a political comedy with a cool premise that has the presidential election coming down to one man's vote. Costner calls the film "Capra-esque," which is a good thing indeed, but easier said than done. And after that, it sounds like Costner is looking to get back to the genre that brought him the most acclaim -- the western.

"I'm looking to direct a western," says Costner. "They don't like financing them, but I'll figure it out. It's a genre that's really worthy, really entertaining. I think they're hard to pull off, and I like that." I couldn't agree more with him there. I love westerns and they seem to become more and more scarce with each passing year. The ones that do get released -- last year's terrific The Proposition comes to mind -- tend to be smaller films, although the upcoming 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford might help bring some heat to the genre. Costner has directed three movies. Two of them -- Dances With Wolves and Open Range were westerns. The other was The Postman. Wolves was a smash success and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Open Range was really entertaining and made decent money. The Postman was...The Postman. Can you blame Costner for wanting to return to the sweet bosom of the western? Hey, anything that keeps him from making another movie about a mailman attempting to restore civilization in a post-Apocalyptic world sounds like a winner to me!
CATEGORIES Cinematical