Kevin Costner Once Played a Criminal Elvis Impersonator in This Action Comedy Alongside Kurt Russell

by Madison Miller

Kevin Costner is well-known for his serious roles in what are often dramas. He also has a love for Westerns.

Some of his most popular films include, “Dances with Wolves,” “Black & White,” “Open Range,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Bull Durham,” and “Field of Dreams.” You can also catch him on TV in Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone.”

Kevin Costner has nailed the quiet, powerful, and dramatic leading role-type character over the years as a popular A-list actor.

He has branched into comedic movies a few times over the years. One notable example is the action, comedy, and crime film from 2001 called “3000 Miles to Graceland.”

Kevin Costner in ‘3000 Miles to Graceland’

Kevin Costner plays Murphy in the film. He is acting alongside other well-known names like Kurt Russell, Courteney Cox, Christian Slater, David Arquette, and Kevin Pollak.

The story revolves around the plan to rob the Riviera Casino while there is a convention full of Elvis impersonators. The group of people behind the heist go through an interesting series of betrayals, deaths, and theft.

Besides a massive amount of white suits, slick black hair, and shaking legs, the film also pays homage to Elvis Presley’s mansion. At the end of the movie, certain characters are seen aboard a boat appropriately named “Graceland.”

The film features only one Elvis song in the 14-track soundtrack. That is “Such a Night” from 1960.

The movie absolutely bombed when it was released and was torn apart by critics for limitless cliches, stereotypical heist-plots, and an overall cliche-driven film. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 14% overall score on their site.

Costner and Kurt Russell Relationship

Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell play feuding Elvis impersonators trying to steal money from a casino. Besides acting alongside each other, both of them allegedly also got to cut their own versions of the film or at least be vocal about what they considered most important.

According to an Entertainment Weekly article from 2001, Costner’s version emphasized the heist and the violence. Meanwhile, Russell’s had a human interest angle that played into Courteney Cox’s single mother life. Costner’s version is the one that ended up being successful. Costner believed the story is about extravagant villains and violence while Russell was more focused on the human-nature and family side of the story.

”If you have different ideas about what should happen in a movie, it’s worth playing those out. Kurt felt very strongly, and he had a really good idea, but it didn’t really bear out,” Kevin Costner said at the time.

There was no animosity between the two, however. Some of Russell’s suggested changes made it to the final clip. Also, Russell believes the version that was finalized is the best combination that could have been created.

Both actors say that it was the director, Demian Lichtenstein, that had the greatest overall influence and say in what went on in the movie. Lichtenstein said that the idea of a dueling version is an exaggeration. He instead said that both had their own ideas and beliefs, but editing was left up to him.

Regardless, the movie is not considered a high-quality, well-regarded film in any sense.