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June 17, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | June 17, 2008 |

I know we all loves us some Robert Downey, Jr., and that our love predates Iron Man and includes everything from Less Than Zero to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (and, of course, Weird Science). The man’s definitely got some range, but he’s also smart enough to ride the wave of Iron Man genre success for all it’s worth, which is why Downey is in negotiations to star in DreamWorks/Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens, a sci-fi/Western mix that could potentially be a 2010 tentpole. The project is based on a graphic novel set in the Old West, where settlers including Zeke Jackson (Downey) are fighting the Apache for control of the land when a spaceship crashes nearby. The cowboys and Indians team up to fight the alien invaders, after which the cowboys presumably go right back to slaughtering the Indians. The script has been in development for at least a decade, but the latest version comes from Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, two of the writers from — you guessed it — Iron Man. You gotta love Hollywood.

I was never into “Robotech” as a kid. In my house, it was “Thundercats,” “He-Man,” “MASK”; you know, the greats. Even now, I’d probably rather watch a movie about cat people with swords or a bronze gay dude with a sword than something about giant robots people use to fight each other. Regardless, Warner Bros. has hired Lawrence Kasdan to write their big-screen adaptation. Yes, the man who penned Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back is turning his attention to mecha. There’s no sense beating around the bush on this: It will probably suck.

In casting news, Amanda Peet has signed on for 2012, a disaster film from Roland Emmerich that also stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiorfor, and Danny Glover. Why Emmerich needs such a talented cast to run around in front of a green screen while he bombs New York is beyond me, but it’s always good to see Peet getting work. … It was announced this week that Aaron Ashmore is joining the cast of The Thaw, co-starring Val Kilmer. The plot of the indie horror film is inconsequential — something about a killer parasite released by melting polar ice caps, which sounds way too close to the idiotic The Happening — because what really matters is that Ashmore and Kilmer will share the screen. Ashmore played Iceman in the X-Men films; Kilmer played Iceman in Top Gun. Does no one else wonder/worry about the cosmic significance of this? That’s like doing a buddy comedy with Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

In honor of the death Monday of makeup and effects man Stan Winston, who was insanely talented and was involved in every movie from your childhood, here’s a clip of select scenes from Aliens:

On to the trailer watch. First up is Punisher: War Zone, because even those weird kids in your social studies class who carve things into their arms need their own superhero movie:

“Dan,” I can already hear you saying, “that’s all well and good. But what if I like senseless remakes; where’s the trailer for me, you erudite and handsome-in-an-offbeat-way man?” Well, here’s the clip for Death Race, wrapped up all pretty-like for you:

You know I can’t leave you with that. Let’s go out on a high note with the trailer for Spike Lee’s upcoming Miracle at St. Anna:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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