“No! Are you serious?”: Kevin Costner Almost Became a Different Robin Hood With Die Hard Director That Might Have Saved Him from an Embarrassing Mistake

Not Kevin Reynolds' version, but Kevin Costner was supposed to play Robin Hood in John McTiernan's film.

kevin costner as robin hood, die hard

SUMMARY

  • Kevin Costner is infamously known for his mixed accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but he could've starred in a different Robin Hood movie.
  • John McTiernan planned to make a movie based on the character under Fox way before Kevin Reynolds' film was greenlit.
  • The involvement of Reynolds was targeted at poaching the Yellowstone actor away from McTiernan's movie.
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Kevin Costner starred in the title role in the 1991 blockbuster film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Costner was brutally trolled for his performance due to his accent, but the film still made huge bucks for the producers. Interestingly, Costner was in talks with 20th Century Fox to star in another Robin Hood movie directed by Die Hard fame John McTiernan. Morgan Creek Entertainment, who produced the 1991 movie, used a trick to poach Costner from the other Robin Hood movie.

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Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Morgan Creek brought in Kevin Reynolds as the director of the film. Reynolds’ directorial debut was the 1985 film Fandango, which gave Costner his first starring role. Reynolds and Costner began a life-long friendship after working on the Steven Spielberg-produced film.

Kevin Costner Was Poached Away From John McTiernan’s Unmade Robin Hood Movie

Kevin Costner was supposed to play Robin Hood in another John McTiernan movie
Kevin Costner was supposed to play Robin Hood in another John McTiernan movie (still from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)

Kevin Costner could’ve starred in an entirely different Robin Hood movie in the 1990s. While it could’ve saved him from the embarrassing accent mishap in his 1991 film, he was poached away from the other movie by the producers of this film. Director Kevin Reynolds revealed the little drama behind Robin Hood movies of the 1990s during his podcast interview with Indie Film Hustle.

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Costner was almost confirmed for the project titled, The Adventures of Robin Hood, with John McTiernan of Die Hard and Predator fame as the director. While Fox’s project was in development for years, Morgan Creek Entertainment announced their movie, Prince of Thieves, in 1990. They made their intention clear that they too wanted Costner, the big star of the time, to play the role in their film when they hired Reynolds.

The studio hoped that Reynolds would poach Costner away from the McTiernan film. Reynolds immediately began production for the film. He revealed that he got a visit from the Bodyguard actor, who asked him whether he knew about his Robin Hood film with McTiernan. Reynolds denied having any knowledge of the other film. He shared with Indie Film Hustle:

“The next day after I got onto [Robin Hood], I got this call from Kevin and he goes, ‘Can I talk to you?’ And I go, ‘Sure.’ So he comes over to my new office and he walks in and he goes, ‘Did you know I was on this other Robin Hood with McTiernan?’ I went, ‘No! Are you serious?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, we were talking about doing this other thing.’ And I said, ‘I had no idea.’ And he was like, ‘No, God, okay.’”

Reynolds came to realize the producers’ plan only later. Interestingly, their plan worked as Costner bailed on John McTiernan’s film. Reynolds shared:

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“Long story short, the producer, who was very wily, realized Costner was doing this, so he asked me to do [his] Robin Hood so Kevin would bail on the other one and come onto [my] Robin Hood. And that’s how it came to be.’”

Fox was not at all happy with this development. After Costner signed on for Prince of Thieves, the then-chairman of Fox, Joe Roth, bashed Morgan Creek for its sneaky move (via Los Angeles Times). The studio planned to move forward with Mel Gibson as the lead, but the project eventually didn’t take off.

Kevin Costner Embarrassed Himself With A Bad English Accent In Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

Kevin Costner's accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was widely criticized
Kevin Costner’s accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was widely criticized

Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood spoke with an accent many criticized as a mix of British and South California accents. The issue became evident right after the release of the film and critics widely discussed the mistake by a big star like Costner. John Watson, the co-writer and co-producer of the film, told the LA Times at the time that Costner was going for a “Mid-Atlantic” accent if it needed a category. The producer defended the Bull Durham star, sharing:

“He had a tempered accent, a softened-up Americanization. It was inappropriate to have him sound like Prince Charles. We didn’t want to go all the way to British royalty. But we didn’t want him to sound Californian.”

While audiences didn’t find the accent as an issue in theaters, over the years it became an issue for multiple reasons. Many claim that it was important for a big Hollywood star like Costner to sound fluent in a British accent. The accent stood out like a sore thumb especially since Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio gave some amazing performances in the film.

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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is now available for rent on AppleTV+.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1373

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.