The concept of a movie about gunslingers in the Old West taking on an alien invasion is either the greatest idea in the history of cinema or the absolute worst. It's the type of thing I would have enacted with action figures as a kid, blending my fascination with cowboys with my love of aliens. Cowboys & Aliens feels like my kind of guilty pleasure. So very silly. So very awesome.

Part of my attraction to this project was Jon Favreau hopping on board to direct and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as the film's hero, the leader of the titular cowboys and presumably alien killer extraordinaire. Unfortunately, one half of that equation has left the building: Downey Jr. has left the film.

I would have loved to have seen these guys work together beyond the Iron Man franchise and a goofy concept like Cowboys & Aliens would be an ideal playground for an awesomely geeky filmmaker like Favreau and a performer with the proper mixture of charm, wit and self-awareness like Downey Jr. Sadly, some things are too good to be true and it looks like the folks with the money want to fast-track Sherlock Holmes 2, immediately tying Downey Jr. up for the time being.

Cowboys & Aliens is still set to start shooting this summer. Although losing Robert Downey Jr. feels like a major blow, Favreau has an incredible instinct for casting, so I'm sure he'll find a more than suitable replacement. My thoughts? Without knowing a single thing about the characters or plot outside of the basic concept? I've always wanted to see Jeff Bridges shoot down UFOs with a six shooter. You can have that one for free, Jon.

(Via the LA Times)
categories Movies, Sci-Fi