Downey And Favreau May Reunite In Cowboys & Aliens

Not aliens like these, but regular old aliens like these, sadly. The Cowboys & Aliens idea/script is one that has been around for years. It's obvious, really. Take an old west picture and shove some aliens in it. Instant fun, and it's got to be better than Wild, Wild West, right? Robert Downey, Jr. has been attached to the picture since 2008, and now it seems like Jon Favreau might take the director's chair. (Edit: THR's new blog and a couple of other sources are saying this is a done deal, not a 'maybe' or 'circling the project' scenario.) Is this pair, who will likely work together in either Iron Man 3 or The Avengers or both, going to be the geek equivalent Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart?

Variety's BFDealMemo blog reports Favreau's interest in the film. To get an idea of what you might see, check out the 2006 graphic novel online, where you can read the whole thing for free.

Cowboys & Aliens has a long history in Hollywood. Famously bought based on a poster concept, the idea kicked around from Universal and Dreamworks to Columbia and back to Universal. Several writers have taken a crack at it. When Downey's name was attached the current writers were Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, who wrote Iron Man. Now Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindeloff are rewriting. As far as we know the logline is the same: in the Old West, "settlers and Native Americans wage a bloody battle for control of the land. But when the Earth is threatened by conquerors from the stars, these sworn enemies must work together to save all humanity."

The interest that rises when Favreau and Downey threaten to team up on this one is tempered by the Kurtzman/Orci involvement. Sure, their Star Trek worked, but that was a casting success more than anything else. Will another casting success and the input of Favreau overcome the Kurtzman/Orci tendencies? We might find out in 2011; the film is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2010 start date.