THAT SINKING FEELING

INJURIES, HURRICANES AND A PESKY PRESS TURN KEVIN COSTNER'S $150 MILLION WATERWORLD INTO ONE SOGGY SAGA

Fade in to the first image of a would-be movie blockbuster: "We are looking at someone's crotch ..." It is our first glimpse of the hero, and he is using "some kind of contraption" to transform his urine into water. He drinks the liquid, and we see that he is standing on "the deck of a large river barge." Then the narrator's voice, "old and wise," intones the movie's once-upon-a-time: "After ze Great War, they called ze planet Waterworld ..."

Seven years, six writers, 30 script drafts, several executive ulcers and a record $150 million after Peter Rader wrote this scene,...

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