Draft Day

In the sort of casting decision that might cause words like “spooky” or “kismet” to sneak unbidden into the wording of a Newswire article, Kevin Costner is apparently in talks with David E. Kelley to play a once-powerful and influential man, whose existence as a shell of his former self is occasionally lightened by displays of charisma or wit. The character in question, lawyer Billy McBride, is the lead in Kelley’s planned legal drama Trial, which the producer is putting together for Amazon. The show centers on McBride’s efforts to face down an old friend in court, despite being burdened by the guilt from an expensive mistakein this case, one involving the murder of a child, and not a ranting, eye patch-clad Dennis Hopper.

If Costner takes the role, it’ll be his second major stab at working in TV; he and his saliva-festooned facial foliage previously starred as backwoods patriarch ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield in The History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys. Outside of the 2012 historical miniseries, Costner has worked regularly in film in recent years, inspiring teenagers to run far away from him in Disney’s McFarland, USA, and teaching the world about racism in Mike Binder’s Black Or White.

According to Deadline, Costner’s attachment to Trial would ensure a 10-episode pick-up order for the series from Amazon. That would probably come as a relief for producer Kelley, as it would finally give him a new outlet for the Midas-like curse that causes everything he touches to magically transform into yet another legal drama, inevitably filled with spooky, kismet-heavy banter and quirks.