One of the biggest celebrity feuds of all time is Hatfields vs. McCoys. Their fight has become a stuff of legend but it was never adapted into a mass entertainment project. That is until History Channel’s six hour miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which features Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield. He is also a producer on the project. He is joined by Bill Paxton as the patriarch of the McCoys.
Costner took in Kevin Reynolds as director for the project, which somehow debunked the rumors that the two kept their distance after their 1995 movie Waterworld. They spent two and a half months shooting in Romania. Hatfields & McCoys is the first scripted miniseries for the History Channel, not counting the Kennedys that the network commissioned to make but sold off.
Costner said that the production team didn’t have any hesitations stepping into the medium. He promised Bill Paxton and everybody else involved in the project that they will see the scenes they signed up for.
Hatfields & McCoys was only supposed to be two nights but History Channel made it into three when they saw the story. Paxton hopes that the miniseries would result into more projects like it because there are lots of actors who enjoy having little more time to explore the part due to the length of the piece.
Hatfields & McCoys is shot like The Wild Bunch where the violence is visceral. Paxton said that the scenes were intense. They used high caliber weapons and the viewers could really feel it. The epic miniseries was produced without an epic budget. Costner and director Reynolds came out with a low budget world that translated well on the small screen. For the opening battle, they had 60 guys. They didn’t have big cranes and didn’t have a Steadicam but managed to make it look good.