Last summer when Robert Downey, Jr. became attached to Dreamworks/Universal’s Cowboys And Aliens comic book adaptation, the studio had plans to have the film out in theaters for the summer of 2010, the same time that Marvel hoped to have Iron Man 2 in cineplexes. Well, Iron Man 2 will be in theaters next summer, but not Cowboys & Aliens, though when it does hit the local cineplex, it will be sharing not just the star of the Iron Man films, but its director as well. Variety is reporting that Iron Man-director Jon Favreau is close to signing a deal to helm the picture.
The project is as high concept as it’s title implies. A range war between cowboys and Native Americans is interrupted by a crashing alien spaceship and some occupants who mean no good for the planet Earth. Universal originally bought the project in 1997 based on a poster design showing a cowboy and a flying saucer. The project went through a number of writers and bounced over to Columbia Pictures before moving back to Universal. A comic book was published by Platinum Studios in 2006, which can be read here. When Downey signed on to the film, Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus were the current scripters. Now, Variety is reporting that Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindeloff are currently rewriting the screenplay.
Downey and Favreau are already scheduled to work on Iron Man 3 and quite probably The Avengers. They certainly made a good team as evidenced by the first Iron Man film. Let’s hope that magic holds as they’ve certainly committed themselves to working together for the foreseeable future.