If early reviews are any indication of audience reaction, "Field of Dreams" is likely to polarize audiences. Syndicated film critic Roger Ebert calls the movie "completely original and visionary." But Time magazine's Richard Corliss sees it as a "male weepie at its wussiest."
Robinson first tried to launch the project in 1982 after Kinsella's book was published, but he couldn't generate much interest.
"The general response was, 'We can see why you love this book but you can't make a movie out of it,' " he recalls.
The "Shoeless Joe" project first wound up at Fox, but that studio ultimately decided not to make it. Together with the brother producer team of Lawrence and Charles Gordon, Robinson took his screenplay to Universal. As they were closing the deal, Universal motion picture group chairman Thomas Pollock joked, "This was the kind of movie that you only make if you hear a voice telling you to."
Robinson responded, "If you make it, they will come."
Costner was the first actor to come to mind for the lead, says Robinson, but he and the producers were so sure he wouldn't be interested in doing another baseball movie after "Bull Durham" that they didn't even add his name to their list. A Universal executive, however, made sure the script got in Costner's hands, and he came to them.