Tempest after ‘Tin Cup’: Kevin Costner ankles CAA

Don’t be surprised if a lot of agents decide to pack up their golf clubs and spend some time on the golf course – in Arizona. That’s because Kevin Costner is on the links there – and on the loose after ankling Creative Artists Agency Oct. 19, marking the biggest star to leave there since the exits of agency founders Mike Ovitz and Ron Meyer, and the second leading man to vamoose – after Steven Seagal bolted to ICM. Costner isn’t leaving for another agency; indeed, he’s putting off making a decision about who’ll represent him until he completes starring as a golfer in the Ron Shelton-directed Warner Bros, pic “Tin Cup,” now shooting in Tempe. Sources said Costner, who joined CAA in 1989 from the William Morris Agency, just wants to start from scratch. He says he wants to meet with every agency – including CAA, which will pitch him to rejoin – and make his decision in January. In the meantime, Costner will be repped solely by his attorney, Harley Williams.

Costner left because his primary relationships at CAA were with Ovitz, Sandy Climan and Meyer. Ovitz now is at Disney, Climan and Meyer at Universal. He had no strong relationship beyond that to keep him in the fold, and it proved difficult to form a bond with a new agent, as he has been away shooting the movie. It long has been suspected that Costner might bolt, and that perhaps he would rejoin his former agent, J.J . Harris, who’s now at United Talent Agency. Though denied by sources close to the actor, there was speculation this exit could be related to the trying experiences he had on “Waterworld,” which turned out to be a logistical and press nightmare with a bloated budget and mediocre reviews. The movie since has done more than $200 million worldwide, somewhat redeeming itself.

Several other major stars are said to be contemplating their CAA situations, including Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg and Sylvester Stallone. Trouble with Stallone is he’s booked for four $20 million movies, so by the time another agency begins collecting commissions, Stallone might be collecting Social Security.

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