Kevin Costner back for ‘Field of Dreams’ game after nearly not getting film role

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DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Is this The House That Kevin Built?

As the Yankees and White Sox finally played the long-anticipated “Field of Dreams” game here Thursday evening, within walking distance of the modest diamond that served as the magical setting for the 1989 film of the same name, the person arguably most responsible for that movie’s success — and therefore, this game — took part in the pregame ceremonies, essentially serving as the master of ceremonies.

“It was the perfect little movie,” Kevin Costner, the film’s star, said in a news conference. “The climax, rather than a big car chase, was, ‘Do you want to have a catch?’ And it worked. And what I’ve seen out here is a replication of the attention to detail.”

As Costner told the story, he read the “Field of Dreams” script and quickly wanted to sign up for it — despite just having finished a different baseball movie, “Bull Durham” — except he had committed to an action flick called “Revenge.” The filming schedule for that movie kept getting delayed, however, and the producers of “Field of Dreams” held out hope that they could land Costner, whose star had risen thanks to the success of “Bull Durham” as well as “The Untouchables” and “No Way Out” for the lead role.

Kevin Costner walks on the field prior to the Yankees’ “Field of Dreams” game on Thursday.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Finally, Costner said, he approached the director of “Revenge,” Tony Scott, and told him, “You’re a smart person” and ordered him to figure out a way for Costner to do both films. Scott relented and ordered Costner to be on his set four days after he finished “Field of Dreams.”

While “Revenge” wound up eminently forgettable, “Field of Dreams” turned into an all-time classic, nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1990 and still beloved today.

“There are movies I’ve been in that were great when they were written, and by the time someone got their hands on them, they were different movies,” Costner said. “This movie really held its line. It could’ve been goofy. It wasn’t.”

Now, as baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced while seated next to Costner, this game will return next year, neither goofy nor a gimmick. Whether we’d be here if Costner hadn’t maneuvered his way into the film, we’ll never know … and don’t want to know.

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