It's been a long time since Kevin Costner had a big box office hit. So, what's a good way for him to get his groove back? One way would be to star in a movie based on a property with a huge following, like a comic book. But these days acquiring the rights to such properties is really expensive, so that might not be an option. Another idea is to create a new property, let it gain a huge following and then turn it into a movie. This second way is the way for Costner, although he doesn't seem to be waiting to see if the property will become popular before committing himself to the adaptation.
The property is called The Explorer's Club, and it's an animated series for the web that will premiere at the end of this year. Costner is producing and financing the show, for which he'll voice the lead character, Sloane. The series focuses on Victorian-era adventurers traveling around the world, presumably like 19th century Indiana Joneses, and it will originally consist of 12 four-minute episodes. Creators Chris Baird, Jon Baird and Keith Quinn are set to finish a feature-film script based on the series around the time the show premieres, but it isn't clear just when Costner plans to have the film in production. It will be a live-action version of the series, though, and it will physically star Costner, again as Sloane. The actor is also the first choice to direct the film.
I don't know how long it takes for a web series to gain a significant audience these days, but Costner will either have to start shooting the movie before the show really takes off and risk it not being a big enough success, or wait around for a fan base to build and risk taking too long to deliver a movie to an impatient audience, some of which may forget about it. Surely Costner is going to put enough money into this thing, though, to cover all bases. Unlike some other new web series, The Explorer's Club will likely have a huge advertising budget, and its ads probably won't be limited to the internet.