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Was it really that bad? Kevin Costner defends Waterworld in interview

Kevin Costner’s Waterworld checks all of the cult-classic boxes: It under-performed at the box-office, the story is quirky and complicated, and it has a relatively small, fiercely-devoted following that insists the movie is a misunderstood masterpiece.

The film was budgeted at an obscene $175 million dollars (a record at the time) and grossed just $88 million domestically. While it redeemed itself somewhat in foreign markets, earning just under $176 million outside of the U.S., it took in far less than expected and — with all costs considered — Waterworld barely broke even. As a result, the film was branded as a major flop and is now cited as a cautionary tale.

When a project is perceived this way, those involved tend to run (quickly) in the other direction. But Kevin Costner isn’t embarrassed by the film — not in the least. In a recent interview with former Entertainment Weekly Writer and Current Blogger Jeff Wells, Costner said “I know that people might think of Waterworld as a low point for me. It wasn’t.” The actor went on to add, “… the movie with all its imperfections was a joy for me … a joy to look back upon and to have participated in.”

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Interestingly enough, Wells reached out to the long-time movie star around the time of the film’s 20th anniversary to express remorse over “hammering pretty hard” on the project. With time, he has developed a new perspective on the film and admitted to Costner that the movie he once panned actually “wasn’t half bad.”

“I’m not sure you know how beloved the movie is around the world” the actor told Wells during their conversation and went on to say that he hoped his interviewer would take the time to watch the film again.

You have to admit, IMDB’s synopsis does sound intriguing.

In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

Quick, someone get George Miller on the phone.