“His marriage was falling apart”: Kevin Costner’s ‘Inexcusable’ Behavior Made Director Storm Off from Film That Actor Chose Over The Shawshank Redemption

Kevin Costner's feud with Kevin Reynolds has close similarities with the one he has with Taylor Sheridan now.

Kevin Costner


  • Kevin Costner rejected the lead role in The Shawshank Redemption to star in his friend Kevin Reynolds' film Waterworld.
  • However, the big-budget film caused major issues between him and the director, leading to Reynolds quitting the film.
  • His marriage with Cindy Silva was also falling apart at the time, which may have factored into these troubles.
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Kevin Costner’s abrupt exit from Yellowstone brought up his issues with creator Taylor Sheridan. His divorce from Christine Baumgartner also figured into the whole Yellowstone debacle. A similar conflict happened in Costner’s career almost three decades before his ongoing issue. At that time, Costner entered into a heated battle with the director of Waterworld and his close friend, Kevin Reynolds.

Kevin Costner as The Mariner in Kevin Reynolds' Waterworld
Kevin Costner as The Mariner in Kevin Reynolds’ Waterworld

The conflict between the two led to Reynolds quitting the film before the completion of production of the film. The rest of the film was helmed by Costner, though Reynolds retained the director’s credit. Interestingly, Costner’s marital issues with his first wife Cindy Silva also allegedly played a role in his on-set behavior.

Waterworld Director Stormed Off From The Film After Heated Battle With Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds had a heated battle during the filming of Waterworld
Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds had a heated battle during the filming of Waterworld

One of the first major roles in Kevin Costner‘s career came in the film Fandango, directed by Kevin Reynolds. Both Costner and Reynolds have since maintained a friendly relationship. Their friendship even prompted the Dances with Wolves actor to drop a John McTiernan project and join Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He later rejected the lead role in The Shawshank Redemption to star in Reynolds’ costly project, Waterworld.


However, things did not go well for the two friends in the 1995 film. The film resulted in a major break in their friendship that took years for them to mend. Waterworld takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the ice caps melted and the sea water has engulfed the planet’s surface. Costner played the unnamed anti-hero character, The Mariner, in the film.

Behind the scenes of the film, tensions between Costner and Reynolds were on the rise. The film had planned a 96-day schedule but the production was extended by nearly three months, resulting in a 150-day shoot. As a result, the budget of the film ballooned from a planned $100 million to a whopping $175 million (via Forbes).

The production issues caused constant arguments between the Man of Steel actor and Reynolds on the set. Reynolds didn’t like Costner meddling with the production, something that was argued against the actor by other creators like Taylor Sheridan. Eventually, Reynolds stormed off the set.


Express UK reported that the director allegedly called back to Costner as he left the set, “Now Kevin [Costner] gets to work with his favorite actor and director!”. It took years for the two of them to reconcile and realize how immature they were acting on the Waterworld set. However, writer Peter Rader had another angle to add to this conflict.

Kevin Costner’s Divorce With Cindy Silva Made Matters Worse

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone
Yellowstone star Kevin Costner’s first marriage falling apart may have played into the issues in Waterworld

In a story about the making of Waterworld in Yahoo! Movies, screenwriter Peter Rader recalled his version of the feud between Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds. He shared that Costner struggled with the production due to his divorce from then-wife Cindy Silva. Silva and Costner were married for 16 years and had three children together. According to PEOPLE, he had to pay a $80 million settlement to Silva.

Rader also shared that Costner allegedly took over the editing of the film, effectively removing Reynolds from every aspect of the film. Reynolds gradually disappeared from Hollywood after the film. Rader shared with Yahoo! Movies:


“Costner was having to carry the movie, while his marriage was falling apart. I was in peripheral contact with various producers, and they would share stories at various points. I was also reading stuff in the press and it appeared like Costner took over the editing and locked [Reynolds] out. And Kevin [Reynolds] just left Hollywood at that point.”

Reynolds and Costner later worked together in the 2012 History Channel miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys. Waterworld became a huge flop despite being one of the highest-grossing films of 1995. It is reported to have lost millions of dollars for Universal Pictures at the time (via NY Times). However, it eventually became profitable after its home video sales and TV broadcast rights (via Deadline).

Waterworld is now available for streaming on Starz.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1272

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.