Kevin CostnerYellowstone

Before Yellowstone Drama, Kevin Costner’s Most Ambitious Flop Encountered So Many Cost Overruns It Reached A Record-Breaking $175M Budget


When it comes to ambitious high-budget films and TV shows, it’s always believed that production companies take these high-stake risks as they believe that they will make way more than what they invest. In the past, the certified profit-making machine was none other than Kevin Costner for these companies since his reputation was enough to hail his films as blockbusters.

Consistently putting out some of the best films that audiences had ever seen, it was a no-brainer for anyone to believe that they were putting money on the wrong guy. But not everything goes as planned, and this time, it was with Costner’s then-upcoming post-apocalypse film that problems arose with the budget, and just kept getting bigger.

Kevin Costner’s Waterworld Went Unbelievably Overbudget

Known as one of the most prolific actors of his day, even inspiring some of the biggest modern-day stars of the industry, Kevin Costner was one of the most revered individuals in the industry, especially for his action and sports drama films. Seeing that people love to watch him on the big screen, Universal Studios decided to take a calculated gamble with him when he was cast as the lead star for their then-upcoming film Waterworld, a post-apocalypse action flick which was directed by Kevin Reynolds.

The aforementioned film was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken in the 1990s since the film was set to be shot off the coast of Hawaii in an artificial saltwater enclosure which was very large in proportion. Since the shooting process was so demanding and unorthodox, the production company initially issued a budget of a whopping $100 Million, something that was almost unheard of in the early 1990s.


But what followed after would just make this amount of money feel insignificant. During the shooting period of three months which was initially planned, there were a lot of cost overruns that the production incurred which included damages due to the environment, repair and maintenance of the site and equipment, and unforeseen circumstances. These situations blew up the cost of making this film, blooming the budget to $134 Million. Even then, due to the extension of the shooting schedule, the cost just kept rising up, until it was a record-breaking $175 Million, which was almost unheard of.

And even after putting so much money into the film, the box office collection was below expectations with a $264 Million figure to show for it.

What Was Waterworld About?

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the melting of the polar ice caps has submerged the world in water, and few remaining humans live on artificial islands. One day, a mariner, who has adapted to living in the water by developing gills through mutation, saves a woman and a young girl from one of these islands but they soon find themselves being chased by pirates who believe that the little girl is the key to finding the fabled Dryland.


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