Bill Paxton to duel with Kevin Costner in History's 'Hatfields and McCoys'


Image Credit: Scott Kirkland/

History’s miniseries The Hatfields and McCoys: An American Vendetta has lined up Bill Paxton to play Randall McCoy opposite Kevin Costner’s “Devil” Anse Hatfield. Those who remember the dueling westerns known as 1993’s Tombstone (in which Paxton costarred as Morgan Earp) and 1994’s Wyatt Earp (starring Costner in the title role) may get a special kick out of that. I’m now dreaming of a miniseries filled with Tombstone actors in one clan and Wyatt Earp actors in the other. For those of you unfamiliar with the Hatfield-McCoy tale, here’s a history lesson from the network: 

The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with “Devil” Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades during the Civil War, they returned to their neighboring homes — Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky — to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon exploded into all-out warfare between the two families. As hostilities grew, friends, neighbors and outside forces joined the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War. Their story also includes: a tempestuous love affair between Hatfield’s son and McCoy’s daughter, which had disastrous consequences; the execution of McCoy’s three young sons in retaliation for the Rasputin-like murder of Hatfield’s beloved brother; a New Year’s Massacre of the McCoy clan and burning of their home, which also sparked international headlines; a public clash between state governors; and ultimately the involvement of the United States Supreme Court.

Also enjoyable: Kevin Reynolds will direct the miniseries. You may recall that he famously quit Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves after butting heads with Costner and producers over the star’s screen time. And then there was Waterworld. ”In the future Costner should only appear in pictures he directs himself,” Reynolds told EW in 1995 after ceding final cut of the film to Costner. ”That way he can always be working with his favorite actor and his favorite director.” Obviously they’ve made up. Last year, they announced plans to reteam for the feature spy comedy Learning Italian.

I’m excited for The Hatfields and McCoys, and not just for the potential for a behind-the-scenes high noon. I remember sitting in the movie theater watching Open Range, thinking how beautiful it looked on the big screen, and wanting to thank Costner for keeping the Western alive. Even on the small screen, I’ll take it.

Read more:
Kevin Costner to star in History miniseries
Kevin Costner officially cast in Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman’ reboot
Kevin Costner talks hosting CMT’s ‘Artists of the Year’ concert and why he won’t come to TV — except for maybe a cartoon

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Peter

    Is this actual history, or is it going to involve zombies and/or vampires and/or crime solving?

    • ghose of David Carridine

      the should re-do our bro flick “the long riders”..would somebody please tell ghost of elvis to be quiet we all it is the anniversary of his checking out in 77

    • K


  • Templar

    As a huge fan of Costner, I look forward to this. RH Prince of Thieves is one of my favorite films despite the lack of accent.

    • Monty

      It’s not so much a lack of accent…its a disappearing/reappearing accent.

  • Clete

    And if the storyline thins out, they can open a pawnshop, cut down trees, drive trucks in Alaska, stuff animals (also in Alaska), hunt alligators, shoot guns, bows and blow-darts, search for aliens and if all else fails drive cars around for no reason.

  • lilyreally

    According to rumor, Costner cut Alan Rickman’s part (Sheriff of Nothingham), which caused the Reynolds/Costner feud. Oddly, one of the costars in the Hatfield/McCoy mini-series is Ronan Vibert,, an Alan Rickman look-alike, and like Rickman, a tremendously gifted actor.

  • Lanie

    The “lie” you wish for others to believe, the one about how Kevin Costner “cut” Rickman in Prince of Thieves is so not true. The actors got on very well together and I rather think Reynolds gets in a royal snit if things don’t go his way. All that aside, the entire cast of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were great and it was a hit film. That’s all that matters to me, except I don’t care to hear lies spread about.

  • Roger Mack

    With all the unemployment in the USA(thats America where the Hatfields and McCoys are for those who don’t know such as Kevin)why the he– did you film it in Romania. Is that where the hHats and Macs are from?

  • a hatfield

    anderson hatfield was a captian for the confederit army ! Randle mccoy was a major for the union ! How could they be comrades ? From what famly says anderson never fired a shot during the feud everyone else did the shooten like cap and yance ! ! !

  • RW

    The movie version is somewhat factual, but not completely as it mentions nothing about the coal mines war, And chief of Police Sid Hatfield trying to stop the bank agents hired by Mccoy, who owned the West Virginia coal mines, from shutting them down, and the Battle for Blair Mountain where 1,000s of coal miners from all over who came and battled against Army troops. This was what originally started the feud after Sid Hatfield was murdered, and not what Wikipedia claims, or this movie. They are wrong. We live here. We know what really happened and when on the time line.

    • Eve

      To RW, I’ve been writing on this subject & interested in it for a long time (the Army & coal mine war events, less so the Hatfields and McCoys). Would be glad to hear your thoughts on what’s been left out (or anything unrelated). I’ve been unsure about certain details.

      If you are still following this thread, may I get in touch with you?
      Let me know how.

      Thank you for your time.

  • RW

    The movie version is somewhat factual, but not completely as it mentions nothing about the coal mines war, And chief of Police Sid Hatfield trying to stop the bank agents hired by Mccoy, who owned the West Virginia coal mines, from shutting them down, and the Battle for Blair Mountain where 1,000s of coal miners from all over who came and battled against Army troops.

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