It’s something of a Robert Downey, Jr. day here at Pajiba (as you’ll likely notice in this afternoon’s posts). We begin with this news: Jon Favreau has apparently expressed interest in directing Cowboys and Aliens, a movie based on a graphic novel written by Thomas Dean Donnelly. Robert Downey, Jr. has been attached to the project since last summer, although development of the project has rattled around the gates of hell since 1997. Steve Oedekirk (Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura) was attached at one point.
Fortunately, the project has bounced into the what’s hopefully the right hands. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing with Steven Spielberg, and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are penning the script with Damon Lindeloff. That’s the same team tackling Star Trek 2, and hopefully Lindeloff can round out Orci and Kurtzman’s rough edges. They’re decent ideas men, but not the best of scriptwriters (Transformers, Mission Impossible III), but they’ve had JJ Abrams there to help hide the flaws (while Michael Bay exposed them in Transformers).
The premise is a little Wild Wild Westy: Set in the Old West, cowboys and Native Americans are fighting over land when aliens attack, forcing the two enemies to work together. A giant mechanical spider may or may not play into the denouement. Clearly, it’s a broad premise, and I haven’t read the graphic novel to know how well it worked. But, it does leave a lot of room for flexibility. And at this point in his career, Robert Downey, Jr. is savvy enough to avoid clear junkers.
All of which is to say: We’ll see.