LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Kevin Costner speaks onstage during the Paramount+ UK launch at Outernet London on June 20, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Paramount+)
Movies - TV
Why Wyatt Earp's First Preview Frustrated Kevin Costner
“Wyatt Earp” is a three-hour, swing-for-the-bleachers, gorgeously dusty film that drifts from incident to incident with little momentum. “Wyatt Earp” star Kevin Costner believed the film was forgivably indulgent, and he fulminated about the film's negative reception to Roger Ebert.
Official reviews of “Wyatt Earp” were still embargoed when Ebert spoke with Costner in 1994. Unfortunately, entertainment journalists were primed to report on an ego-driven flop, citing a poorly received preview screening to support their collective hunch. Costner then lashed out at critics to Ebert, saying, “It's frustrating for me when people don't pay attention to detail. It's a hard thing.”
Hollywood had decided Costner was an out-of-control egomaniac at that point, and he wound up giving the industry an opportunity for a career-killing takedown one year later with the wildly over-budget “Waterworld.” As for “Wyatt Earp,” the movie at least boasted a lovely score by James Newton Howard and a superb performance by Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday.