Kevin Costner plays for sporting chance in 'Draft Day'

Kevin Costner plays for sporting chance in 'Draft Day'
Kevin Costner returns to the sports genre movie in his latest movie
Actor Kevin Costner attends a press conference for the film "Draft Day" on January 31, 2014 in New York City.

LOS ANGELES - A resurgent Kevin Costner makes another play for big-screen success in his latest movie "Draft Day," returning to the sports genre he has scored big hits with in the past.

The film is the third in four months - after "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and "3 Days to Kill" - by the 59-year-old actor, whose career has known some low moments since 1990's Oscar-winning "Dances with Wolves." Directed by Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters," "No Strings Attached,") it recounts the day of the draft, the annual high-stakes, high-profile event when major National Football League (NFL) clubs bid for players from college team ranks.

Costner's character Sonny is general manager of the Cleveland Browns, facing decisive choices for his club while also in demand with his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner) and mother Barb (Ellen Burstyn).

"I loved the idea of a character who is under pressure from the moment a story begins, and the pressure just keeps mounting," Reitman told a Beverly Hills press conference ahead of the movie's US release this Friday.

"And it's not only the business pressure but all kind of other personal things, on a very complicated day, keep affecting how he's thinking." Costner, known for playing the everyman type, appears comfortable with a character dealing with multiple challenges at the same time, sometimes forced to be ruthless but in the end victorious.

And while his recent films haven't triumphed at the box office, "Draft Day" could score a hit to rival Costner's baseball "trilogy" - "Bull Durham" (1988), "Field of Dreams" (1989) and "For Love of the Game" (1999).

NFL blessing

The American actor, whose career turkeys have included 1995's "Waterworld" and 2001's "3,000 miles to Graceland," also played to the sporting gallery in his 1996 golf outing, "Tin cup." With a strong screenplay and first-class direction, "Draft Day" has the blessing of the NFL, which allowed its makers to film the actual 2013 draft.

"I don't know if it will be a box-office hit, but I think it can be a classic movie, which by definition means it will be shared from generation to generation," Costner told reporters.

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