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THE POSTMAN

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 screen.

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 project.

"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 with her.

"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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