EXCLUSIVE: History is revising America’s most infamous family feud with The Hatfields and McCoys, a miniseries starring Oscar winner Kevin Costner. Costner will play “Devil” Anse Hatfield and will produce the mini, which has been given a green light and will premiere next year, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the bloody war between the two clans that has become a popular metaphor for bitterly feuding rivals. The mini will be produced by Leslie Greif’s Thinkfactory Media. “The Hatfields and McCoys is a classic tale of American history,” History president and general manager Nancy Dubuc said. “These are names that are widely recognized, yet few people know the real story that made them famous.”
Greif said that The Hatfields and McCoys has been a passion project for him for more than 20 years. “It was realized the day I met Nancy Dubuc, she made a dream come true when she shared the same enthusiasm and vision for this epic American drama,” he said. “And then to be privileged and fortunate enough to have a superstar like Kevin Costner as “Devil” is beyond anything I could have imagined.” As an avid history fan, Costner said he was thrilled to join “this dramatic re-telling of a classic and timeless tale that is forever immersed in the folklore of our country.” The project takes Costner back to the post-Civil War era he previously depicted in Dances With Wolves. Ted Mann (Deadwood) wrote the script for the mini, with revisions by Ron Parker (Broken Trail). Greif will serve as an executive producer with Herb Nanas and Darrell Fetty producing for Thinkfactory. Dubuc and Dirk Hoogstra will EP for History.
The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades during the Civil War, they returned to their neighboring homes — Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky — to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon exploded into all-out warfare between the two families. As hostilities grew, friends, neighbors and outside forces joined the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War. Their story also includes: a tempestuous love affair between Hatfield’s son and McCoy’s daughter, which had disastrous consequences; the execution of McCoy’s three young sons in retaliation for the Rasputin-like murder of Hatfield’s beloved brother; a New Year’s Massacre of the McCoy clan and burning of their home, which also sparked international headlines; a public clash between state governors; and ultimately the involvement of the U.S. Supreme Court. This marks History’s second scripted miniseries following The Kennedys, which was eventually dropped by the channel. Costner is repped by One Management and WME.