MR. BROOKS

I can see why people grimace when the phrase “Kevin Costner directs” appears. There’s Waterworld and The Postman and, yeah, those movies are trials. (Waterworld, Costner’s uncredited/contested effort, is actually a really entertaining trial when approached in the right light, but still.) They’re also notable for being not at all the sort of vanity actor-turned-director project that you might expect. So they failed, but not for lack of ambition. Open Range is pretty damn good, however, and you’re only as good as your last picture, right? Besides, without Dances with Wolves there would be no Avatar. (I kid. Kinda.)

So, yeah, I’m happy to read that Costner will direct again. He’s getting back into the chair for a movie called A Little War of Our Own. What’s the picture about? Glad you asked.

Variety has the story on Costner’s new War, saying the script, written by Dan Gordon, “centers on a Sheriff who has to try and keep a town from exploding into violence.” The story is set during World War II. Costner will be the sheriff, but perhaps more interesting is another role that is yet to be cast: a German U-Boat commander.

We don’t know much more than that, but this is evidently something that Costner has wanted to do for a while. Searching around I can find mentions of the script that go back a couple years, but few concrete details about the story or other characters.

Even though I haven’t liked any of Costner’s acting gigs since 2005′s The Upside of Anger, in which I really like him, I’m also oddly excited to see him leading this picture as an actor. (I haven’t yet had the chance to see this year’s The Company Men, which was at Sundance.) In general, Costner is a guy I find myself having to defend, despite not being anything like a committed fan. But he’s a great movie presence when he’s on his game, and there aren’t enough of those. I’m ready for more details on this one.

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