Kevin Costner plays a serial killer in this upcoming dark drama

By Adam B. Vary
Updated February 23, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

He’s a serial killer,” says Kevin Costner of his character in Mr. Brooks, a dark drama due June 1. ”I wasn’t dying to do a role like this. I’m not a guy that goes ‘Boo!’ But when I read it, I thought the writers found an amazing window into the subject matter. Now I feel this is as strong a performance as I’ve ever given.”

Buddy Movie Costner’s Earl Brooks is an upstanding Portland, Ore., businessman who moonlights at night as the ”Thumbprint Killer.” Chasing him is an investigator played by Demi Moore. Costner — who first met Moore when he was ”the guy that read with all the actresses who went up for Flashdance ” — slipped the script to Moore’s husband, Ashton Kutcher, on the set of last year’s The Guardian. William Hurt, whom Costner has known since The Big Chill, plays the ”imaginary friend” who prods Mr. Brooks to kill. ”I called and told him I had a little present for him,” Costner says. ”It’s the scene-stealer role. The part is that flashy, and that good.”

Murder, Inc. Costner feels so good about Mr. Brooks, he’s already talking sequels. ”This was written with the idea that we would do a couple others,” explains the 52-year-old actor. ”When the writers first presented the notion to me, I said, ‘Oh, bulls—! I haven’t done Tin Cup 2, or Bull Durham 2, or Open Range: The Early Years, so you don’t have to try to hook me with that.’ But when they told me their idea, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. We’re hoping this little movie develops a following so we can play this story out the way it should.”