KEVIN COSTNER LEGACY POST SAYS LINSON ALMOST BROUGHT THE TEAM BACK FOR 'GHOST & THE DARKNESS'
An Instagram account called "Kevin Costner's Legacy", which bills itself as an "Expert in Costnerology," recently posted the pic above of Kevin Costner and Sean Connery, along with this interesting bit about The Ghost And The Darkness:
While Prince of Thieves was shooting, producer Art Linson (The Untouchables) brought the script for The Ghost and the Darkness to Paramount with Costner as Col. John Henry Patterson on board, to star opposite Connery who agreed on playing Charles Remington, Brian De Palma was set to direct. however the flop of The Bonfire of the Vanities made Paramount febrile and consequently shelved the project.
Julie Salamon does mention this project in her book, The Devil's Candy, within the context of a section about De Palma's agent, Marty Bauer, who passed away this past April at the age of 74. Salamon writes that Bauer "made a point of visiting De Palma on every set." as he usually did while in production, De Palma had already been attempting to line up his next film:
Bauer found "Bonfire"'s production problems plaguing his negotiations for De Palma's next project. He'd been talking to Paramount Pictures for more than a month to sign De Palma for "Ghost in the Darkness," and African adventure story De Palma nicknamed "Jaws in the Veldt." Kevin Costner, who had become a star in "The Untouchables," had indicated he was eager to make the picture with De Palma.
Paramount's initial enthusiasm had been damaged by the publicity out of New York. The studio was already contending with several big budget pictures that seemed unlikely to recoup their costs: "Days of Thunder," the Tom Cruise picture about a race car driver; "Another 48 Hours," the sequel to the Nick Nolte-Eddie Murphy buddy picture; "The Godfather, Part III," which was plagued with its own production problems. The last thing the Paramount executives wanted to commit themselves to now was sending Brian De Palma -- a director with big budget problems -- to a remote continent with Kevin Costner to make a brutally difficult film.
As the release date for Bonfire neared and the Los Angeles Times reported that the film was "getting a chilly reception at test screenings," Paramount had passed on signing De Palma for The Ghost And The Darkness, and was then looking to hire Kenneth Branagh, relatively unknown at that time, to direct the film. It would eventually be directed by Stephen Hopkins.