“I think that Robin could hear voices”: Kevin Costner Beat Robin Williams for One of His Greatest Movie Roles After Director Found a ‘Flaw’ in the Late Comedian

Phil Alden Robinson chose Kevin Costner over Robin Williams to lead the 1989 sports drama.

Robin Williams in Jumanji, Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams

SUMMARY

  • Kevin Costner took on the role of a midwestern farmer who builds a baseball field in his backyard in the 1989 film Field of Dreams.
  • However, for a brief period, the late actor Robin Williams was also even in talks to star in the movie.
  • But the filmmaker Phil Alden Robinson chose the Yellowstone star over Williams, which even surprised Costner himself.
Show More
Featured Video

With a career spanning several decades, Kevin Costner has established himself as one of the most iconic leading men along with acclaimed filmmakers in Hollywood. While the actor has recently gained recognition as the patriarch of the Dutton family in the Western drama Yellowstone, Costner also has a long-standing association with baseball movies, including the 1989 film Field of Dreams.

Advertisement
Kevin Costner in a still from Field of Dreams
Kevin Costner in a still from Field of Dreams | Credit: Universal Pictures

However, the actor later revealed that he was not the sole contender chosen to play the midwestern farmer who builds a baseball field in his backyard, as Robin Williams was also considered for the role before the filmmaker changed his mind.

Field of Dreams Director Chose Kevin Costner Over Robin Williams

Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, Field of Dreams follows a farmer who goes on to build a baseball field in his cornfield after he starts hearing voices along with visions of a baseball diamond. The film performed pretty great at the box office and even went on to earn three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Advertisement

Kevin Costner, who took on the lead role as Ray Kinsella in the movie, later revealed that he initially believed he would not be able to do the film, as he was busy with the production of the 1990 romantic thriller, Revenge.

A still from Field of Dreams | Credit: IMDb
A still from Field of Dreams | Credit: IMDb

And for a brief period, the late actor Robin Williams was even in talks to star in the movie. “I just thought [Field of Dreams] was beautiful, but it wasn’t going to be in the cards,” Costner told Entertainment Weekly before adding, “There was an idea that maybe Robin Williams was going to do it, who I thought was sensational.”

However, Robinson chose the Yellowstone star over Williams, which even surprised Costner himself, as he believed that the Oscar-winning actor could have been great in the movie. When he asked the reason why Robinson chose him over the Jumanji star, he told him,

Advertisement

“And he was like, ‘I do too. But I think that Robin could hear voices in the corn, and I needed a guy that you don’t believe is going to hear a voice in a corn. And I thought that was a really insightful thing. I get a lot of credit for Field of Dreams and all the credit goes to Phil. I just played it.”

Robin Williams in Jumanji (1995)
Robin Williams in Jumanji (1995) | Credit: IMDb

Field of Dreams has since become one of the most iconic performances of the 69-year-old actor, telling the tale of an Iowa corn farmer grappling with the fear of insignificance, while exploring the deeper theme of familial relationships and personal growth. And the actor has credited the Emmy-winning filmmaker for its success.

Kevin Costner Reflected on Why Field of Dreams is Truly Exceptional

Further into his conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Costner called the film very special to him, saying, “It is a personal favorite.” He also reflected on what makes the film truly exceptional in an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, comparing it to the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.

Kevin Costner on the red carpet for a screening of the film “Hidden Figures
Kevin Costner | Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Joel Kowsky

“That movie is, I think that’s our generation’s Wonderful Life. It’s a Wonderful Life. And it happens. And it doesn’t matter how often you watch that movie, when you ask your dad, ‘Have a catch?’ It seems to get people and I’m just glad to have films like that.”

The Untouchables star also highlighted the magic of cinema, noting that the films have the power to create unexpected moments of connection and transcendence. He expressed his belief in the transformative potential of storytelling through films, as they hold the power to create unexpected moments of connection and transcendence. “And that’s why I believe in the movies. And that’s why I make ’em,” he said.

Advertisement

Field of Dreams is available on Prime Video.

Avatar

Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2332

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.