By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist August 17, 2011 at 7:00AM
Remember back in 2010, we told you that "Crazy Heart" director Scott Cooper was looking to take on a classic story of American folklore known as "The Hatfields and The McCoys"? Brad Pitt was set to produce and star alongside Robert Duvall, and apparently Walker was bringing his "Crazy Heart" composer T-Bone Burnett along for the ride. Well, it didn't happen, but it looks like Kevin Reynolds, the director of the infamous "Waterworld," may beat them to the punch according to Deadline. Bill Paxton has been cast as Randall McCoy, along with the previously announced Kevin Costner as the rival “Devil” Anse Hatfield. This version of the historic rivalry of the Hatfield and McCoy families that almost brought about another Civil War is set to be a television miniseries on the History Channel instead of a sprawling film.
While singling out Reynolds for "Waterworld" may be a bit unfair, he's also the director behind the James Franco-starring "Tristan + Isolde" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," and he wrote the original "Red Dawn." So yeah, there's little on this guy's resume we would recommend other than his underrated adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" with James Caviezel and Guy Pearce. Paxton has seemingly been mostly absent from feature films as of late, other than being cast in our much-anticipated Steven Soderbergh action pic "Haywire," but he's a solid actor who should fit right in here. Costner has had a career resurgence, scoring roles in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," but perhaps he's looking to work with somebody who will allow him a little more say in the project.
While we doubt the miniseries will stop Cooper's version from coming to fruition, it's nice to see that people are giving miniseries another shot as of late. And certainly, Todd Haynes' Emmy-nominated "Mildred Pierce" is proof that the stretch of a series allows ample opportunity for characters and storylines to flourish, so a mini-western? We could get with that.