April 09, 2002 12:00 PM

For the first time in five years, since his much-maligned “The Postman” in 1997, Kevin Costner, 47, is returning to the director’s chair, to produce, direct and star in a Western movie for Disney, to be called “Open Range,” says the Hollywood Reporter. The film, set to costar Robert Duvall, takes place in the Old West and is about the day-to-day drudgery of four men (Costner and Duvall will play two of them). Shooting is slated to begin this June in Alberta, Canada. “It’s a piece about a way of life coming to an end and the violence that accompanied it, which was the hallmark of settling the West,” Costner told the trade paper. “It is also a poetic piece that deals with a code of friendship and people who were willing to die abiding by that code.” Costner, whose last few movies failed to ignite sparks at the box office, said he has long been attracted to Westerns, as evidenced by his work in 1985’s “Silverado,” 1994’s “Wyatt Earp” and “Dances With Wolves,” for which he picked up 1989 Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. “I enjoy the genre, the legacy and the history of it,” he said. “And as a form of entertainment, I really respond to it.”

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