About The Production
The development of "The Postman" began with producer
Steve Tisch optioning David Brin's novel in 1985 and setting it
up at Warner Bros.
Says Tisch, "It was a provocative, fascinating story to me,
mixing elements of futuristic action drama with a real morality
play -- a situation in which perception becomes reality and it's
for the good. As appealing as that was, however, it was difficult
to match this story with a team of filmmakers and cast that would
do it the greatest justice. Finally, after more than a decade,
I felt we had found the perfect answer to both our casting and
our directing challenge in one man -- Kevin Costner.
"As a producer, you learn how to have tremendous patience,"
notes Tisch. "To wait 12 years for the right script to attract
Kevin first as an actor, then as a director -- well, it's been
well worth the wait." Tisch also produced the Academy Award-winning
"Forrest Gump," which took nine years to bring to the
According to Jim Wilson, the film's producer and Costner's partner
in Tig Productions, Costner originally planned only to star in
"The Postman." But as he got deeper into studying his
character and the story, he became attracted to the idea of directing
"The Postman is a beautifully crafted and carved character,
and one in which Kevin was not only comfortable, but also felt
challenged," says Wilson. "So I think that he came to
this project as an actor first.
"As weeks went by, he started to involve himself with the
screenplay and the whole process of filmmaking," Wilson continues.
"It then became part of him. Suddenly he couldn't imagine
anyone else rendering the movie in the same way that he could;
it became too precious to let go."
In 1990, Costner made his directorial debut with "Dances
With Wolves." The film earned seven Academy Awards, including
Best Picture and Best Director, and became a motion-picture classic.
In 1997, Costner's return to directing is again inspired by an
intimate story set against a large visual canvas. In "The
Postman," a sweeping look at mankind's possible fate in the
near future is balanced by the relationship of the central character
to a handful of others, and, most important, to himself. During
the course of the story, The Postman changes from a glib poseur
who uses his uniform and letters merely as props to a principled
and, ultimately, heroic man.
He builds friendships with people like the idealistic Ford Lincoln
Mercury (Larenz Tate), a young survivor who is inspired to acts
of tremendous bravery because of his belief, through The Postman,
in a restored U.S. government and the future it implies.
The Postman also meets Abby (Olivia Williams), a self-reliant
woman who has been toughened by her experiences and who is resistant
to any kind of emotional manipulation. Her inner strength and
self-possession intrigue The Postman and draw him toward a friendship
"You're always looking for the original story," explains
Costner. "And you're always looking for something that resonates
with you. If you're going to be in the storytelling business,
then you want to try and tell a story that hasn't been told. 'The
Postman' has certain aspects that I have liked in other stories
but here they're told in a very original way."
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