Yet for Costner, it wasn't. The movie inspired him to learn more about separating oil from water and he decided to invest in emerging oil spill cleanup technologies:
He purchased a company — including some intellectual property — from the U.S. government for $20 million. The technology? A machine which uses centrifugal force to separate oil from water. Costner’s partner, the company’s CEO John Houghtaling, called the machine a “kind of like a big vacuum cleaner.”
For 15 years, he and his business partners refined the technology, waiting for the next great oil spill disaster. When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Costner and team were ready to spring into action. They offered their technology, which allegedly can separate 97 to 99% of the oil out of water at the rate of 200 gallons a minute, to BP. BP ended up buying 32 of the machines as part of the on-going cleanup at an unreported price.
Link | Image: Universal Pictures