Kevin Costner Gave Harrison Ford 1 of His Biggest Hit Movies

Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner aren’t necessarily actors one might connect. But the two actors actually have quite a bit in common. Ford is more than a decade older and therefore got an earlier start in acting. However, by the late 1980s, both actors were among Hollywood’s hottest stars. And though many fans might not realize it, Costner is responsible for one of Ford’s most successful movie roles.

Kevin Costner wears a brown suit and smiles
Kevin Costner | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford circled a lot of the same roles

By the time Costner was leading hits such as The Untouchables and No Way Out, Ford already had two cultural phenomenons under his belt. His roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars saga and the title hero in the Indiana Jones films made him a cinematic icon. But the two actors often found themselves competing for some of the same parts.

Reportedly, Ford turned down the role of Jim Garrison in director Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK. Costner, of course, wound up starring in that movie, which won two Academy Awards. Then, more than a decade later, Costner starred in Dragonfly. That supernatural drama — which was a box office flop — also eyed Ford to star. But he instead chose to take a break from acting.

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The actor nearly starred in one of Harrison Ford’s biggest box office hits

However, Costner didn’t only take on roles that Ford rejected. Costner’s schedule — presumably due to The Postman‘s over-long production — made it impossible for him to star in the 1997 action movie Air Force One. So the actor specifically requested Ford take his place. The film went on to earn more than $315 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It remains Ford’s biggest non-franchise hit.

“This was a script that Kevin Costner originally had and he gave it to me,” Harrison Ford told the Los Angeles Times. “Kevin knew this was a big commercial movie and his schedule didn’t allow him to do it. And he told [the producers] he would let it go only if I could do it. Now Kevin and I are not intimates. I’ve met him on a number of occasions and I like him very much. And I like him a lot more now because he really threw a winner my way.”

Both actors are back to doing what they do best in their careers

Costner is, of course, well known for sports movies like Field of Dreams and Bull Durham. But the actor is arguably as synonymous with Westerns. He’s starred in films like Silverado, Dances with Wolves, Wyatt Earp, and Open Range. He even stars on the 2012 TV miniseries Hatfields & McCoys and now on Paramount Network’s Yellowstone.

Meanwhile, Ford’s career has also led him on a cinematic trip down memory lane. In the 2010s, he reprised two of his famous roles as Star Wars‘ Han Solo and Blade Runner‘s Rick Deckard. Now for the first time since 2008, he’s back in the fedora as Indiana Jones in an untitled fifth film directed by James Mangold (Logan) and due in 2023.

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