In 1991, Kevin Costner made a big splash at the Oscars by scoring not just his first-ever nomination but a trio of nods in a wide assortment of categories. Thanks to his directorial effort “Dances with Wolves,” Costner secured nominations in best actor, best director, and best picture at that year’s Academy Awards. It was an impressive feat that signaled the arrival of Costner as a juggernaut in the world of award-season cinema, though this didn’t have to be his inaugural time showing up as a nominee to the Oscars. If the original plan for the 1983 feature “The Big Chill” had gone through, Costner could have delivered an Oscar-worthy performance almost a decade ahead of “Dances with Wolves.”
Actor Jeff Goldblum explained to Yahoo that “The Big Chill” originally was supposed to feature a pivotal flashback scene with Costner, who Goldblum felt made a major splash even with his minimal screen time. However, this sequence was cut in the editing room. In the final edit of this feature, only Costner’s wrists are briefly shown on-camera, otherwise, he’s M.I.A. from the proceedings. Considering “The Big Chill” secured several Oscar nods after its release (including one for best picture), it’s not too outlandish to wonder if the deleted scenes with Costner, an actor the Oscars are friendly towards, could’ve secured his first Oscar nomination.