Robert Downey Jr. in Talks for Cowboys & Aliens
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
June 16, 2008
Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to star in DreamWorks/Universal's Cowboys & Aliens, a pulpy mix of the sci-fi and Western genres that could serve as a potential 2010 tentpole, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Imagine Entertainment partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing. Platinum Studios chairman and CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg also will produce, along with DreamWorks mainstays Steven Spielberg, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Ervin Rustemagic and Rich Marincic will co-produce.
Cowboys & Aliens derives from a graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley from an original idea by Rosenberg. The story centers on an Old West battle between the Apache and Western settlers, including a former Union Army gunslinger named Zeke Jackson (Downey), that is interrupted by a spaceship crashing into the prairie near Silver City, Ariz.
The story draws a parallel between the American imperialist drive to conquer the "savage" Indians with its advanced technology and the aliens' assault on Earthlings, who must join together to survive the invaders' attack.
The latest draft of the script was done by Iron Man and Children of Men writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus.
Nice to see RD Jr. is getting around alright these days. W/ Iron Man under his belt and Tropic Thunder comin up, I'm thinking he's going to be getting more of the respect thats been due him for the past couple of years.
Favreau and Downey to Play Cowboys & Aliens
September 2, 2009
The Hollywood Report's "Heat Vision Blog" is reporting that Jon Favreau has signed on to direct Robert Downey Jr. in the DreamWorks/Universal sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens, based on the Platinum Studios comic book series. This will be the third pairing of the duo who had enormous success with last year's Iron Man and are currently finishing up that movie's anticipated 2010 sequel Iron Man 2. It's being reported that this will be Favreau's next project on completion of the sequel.
The sci-fi Western explores what would happen if the traditional Old West enemies -- cowboys and Native Americans -- found the prairie attacked by aliens in mid-1800s Arizona.
The project has been in development for many years under a variety of producers and writers, the most recent version being written by executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, along with "Lost" executive producer Damon Lindelof. The project has long been in development by Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who remain on as producers, along with Platinum president Scott Rosenberg.
We’ve known for a while that Jon Favreau would likely follow Iron Man 2 with Cowboys and Aliens, which has been in development at DreamWorks for quite some time. Robert Downey, Jr. will star in the film, which jumps off from the idea that warring cowboys and natives might put aside their differences when beset by a common foe: aliens.
Now, in a Daily Beast article on the aftermath of Avatar’s billion-dollar justification for 3D filmmaking, Kim Masters says the film will shoot in July, and that it may be Favreau’s first foray into 3D. “The Avatar factor could make the difference on Cowboys and Aliens, a DreamWorks project to be directed by Jon Favreau that starts shooting in July,” Masters writes.
That’s the first we’ve heard of the project since Favreau was named as likely director. If the July shoot is really happening, there won’t be much time to get the project up to full steam after Iron Man 2 is finished for a May open. The schedule isn’t impossible; just demanding for Favreau.
ith RDJ out, a replacement is needed for the role of Zeke Jackson, the hero who leads the gunslingers of the wild west against the pesky extra-terrestrials. DreamWorks will have to find a popular star to fill those shoes.
We’re not sure yet on the exact reason for Downey’s dropping out but it’s reasonable to assume he may just have too much on his plate going forward. With this holiday’s Sherlock Holmes kicking off another great franchise, there could be a rush from the studio for a sequel which they spent a lot of time and effort setting up for in this first installment.
That’s not all for the comeback star however, as he also has at least another two leading roles in Marvel Studios’ franchise as Tony Star/Iron Man after Iron Man 2 debuts this May. Downey simply may not have time to dedicate two a third potential franchise.
The sci-fi western will surely be a hit with such major players involved as Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci and Damon Lindelof penning the script, producing alongside Steven Spielberg. And of course, Jon Favreau will be helming the project as director.
Shortly after the news surfaced that Robert Downey Jr. wouldn’t be playing Cowboys & Aliens, we get word that the reason for his departure from that project was a scheduling clash with the shoot for Sherlock Holmes 2 (as fellow Screen Rant writer Rob Keyes successfully guessed at ). EW has a source inside the production that says even though the project has yet to be green-lit (it’s only a matter of time, though), the studio is nonetheless fast-tracking it after the success of the first film (it’s almost at the $300 million worldwide mark at the box office on a $90 million budget).
But seriously, I'm really excited about this. I remember after Indy 4 people worried that'd be the last time we'd see Ford in (serious) action (I know a some people on this board were hoping he'd land the lead in the Coen Bros True Grit remake, but thats another discussion)... perhaps he will serve in more as a mentor role? Nice to see Favreau is rounding up such an interesting cast.