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Kevin Costner Races To ‘McFarland’ For ‘Whale Rider’ Director Niki Caro

Kevin Costner Races To 'McFarland' For 'Whale Rider' Director Niki Caro

There are many threads in the career of Kevin Costner — westerns for example — but one genre the actor seems to enjoy is the sports movie. From baseball (“Bull Durham,” “Field Of Dreams,” “For Love Of The Game“) to golf (“Tin Cup“) to boxing (“Play It To The Bone” in which he cameos), if you’ve got a sport, send it Costner’s way, because he might be interested. And now, he’s going out for track.

The actor has joined “McFarland,” the next effort from “Whale Rider” director Niki Caro, who signed on to the movie last fall. The film is based on the true story of a coach in the small, predominantly Latino town of McFarland, California, during the 1980s, who turned a track team into champions. Coming from Disney and the producers that brought you “Invincible,” “The Rookie” and “Secretariat,” the tone of this one should be pretty apparent. And while it might be nice to imagine Costner strapping on shoes and shorts and doing a long distance run, he’ll be playing the coach.

Caro co-wrote the script with Grant Thompson, and this project is a long time coming for Disney who’ve been working on it since 2004. This will be Caro’s first film since “The Vintner’s Luck,” and yeah, we didn’t see it either. But this one should at least bump her back up into the spotlight “Whale Rider” and “North Country” provided, and while this is the kind of role and movie it seems we’ve seen done to death, we hope the material brings some freshness to the proceedings and boosts it from your standard uplifting sports flick. [Variety]

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