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Entries in Cowboys and Aliens (7)


Cowboys and Aliens – From Start to Finish

By Bennett Owen

OK, humor me. Just one more post after this and then it’s off to C&A Rehab. 

Cowboys and Aliens is a project that exists on the broad shoulders of its title alone. From its conception as a comic book, graphic novel and now summer blockbuster, it’s the title that’s lured investors, writers and A-List Hollywood talent.

Credit: seanpaune

Gone With the Wind may be the best-selling movie of all time but the name is not an instant grabber.  Think of the titles that will plant butts in movie seats on opening night no matter how good or bad the subject matter is:

  • Strangers on a Train
  • Snakes on a Plane
  • A Fistful of Dollars
  • A Streetcar Named Desire

And now, please add Cowboys and Aliens to the list. Here’s co-screenwriter and producer Roberto Orci admitting as much to SuperHeroHype:

SHH: What was it about the comic or the premise that got you interested in developing it?

Orci: Honestly, it was the title. We saw it on a list of development projects and we thought, "Why isn't that awesome title being actively turned into a movie?" Then we looked at the comic, and it was exactly what we hoped it would be…

Credit: Comic Book Resources

C&A started as a comic adventure, created by Comic Book King Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, based on a game he played as a kid.

But even as a comic, developers saw its future up on the silver screen. C&A is an alternate history concept. A "what if" story that turns warring Cowboys and Indians into grudging allies as they are confronted by an alien force.

Credit: scificool


Rosenberg’s Platinum Studios released the  "Cowboys & Aliens" graphic novel in 2006 and it quickly rose to number one.


Insiders say the final movie script has little in common with the comic other than the premise. But the screenwriting team has a magnificent combined body of work behind it, so that bodes well for the finished product.

Credit: Tradereadingorder

John Nolte at Big Hollywood is just as excited to see the movie as I am. Here’s his take:


For the first time in a long time, I’m drawn to see something in the theatre and will try to catch a matinee tomorrow. I like Daniel Craig, love director Jon Favreau, the title is awesome, the trailer even better, Westerns rule, and maybe — just maybe — after 15 disastrous years that culminated in the dreadfully embarrassing Indiana Jones IV, Harrison Ford will go back to being Harrison Ford again.

And finally, here’s yet another phenomenal Ford interview at Screen Rant:


And now if you’ll excuse me, it’s my turn to man the sleeping bag in front of the Multiplex.


Cowboys & Aliens Countdown

By Bennett Owen

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Come here often? Then you know I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since the last pixel of True Grit faded from the silver screen, so from now until Saturday it’s ‘C & A’ as far as the ‘I can C’.

So by now you’ve seen the trailers featuring the alien space ships …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Harrison Ford …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Daniel Craig …

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

But this is the shot that has tongues wagging all across the blogosphere …

There’s some old fashioned smolder in that look and it belongs to up and comer Olivia Wilde. Director John Favreau knew he had gold when he got that shot …

Credit: Beyond Hollywood

Wilde tells MTV, “It was kind of strange because I was half-naked in front of a bunch of people, including the crew, a bunch of Apache warriors, a bunch of cowboys … AND Daniel Craig."

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

And in the UK Daily Mail she confesses to a schoolgirl crush on Craig:

He is so fine and he doesn't even know it,' she said. 'He's such a goof, but he has a confidence that allows him to shine in the way that Steve McQueen stole every single scene in The Magnificent Seven...“

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

So Wilde, my sister and about a kazillion other women think Craig’s pretty magnificent himself ... what do they see in him?

Credit: Digital Journal

An accomplished horsewoman and all-round athlete, Wilde did much of her own stunt work on C & I, including a scene where she gets ripped from the saddle by a bungee cord. She told it all to Leno last night, the story starts about two minutes in:

At age 27, Wilde is just starting to creep onto the A-List but she’s had a recurring role on ‘House’ and took on a meaty role in ‘Tron Legacy.”

When she was 18, Wilde married an Italian aristocrat she met at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Alas, she’s suddenly single again.

“I got a divorce and self medicated with food,'” she said. “'But I figure that's better than self-medicating with crack cocaine.”

Wilde took her screen name as an homage to the Irish playwright. And who knows … at some Academy Award ceremony somewhere down the line, she might pick up his first name too.

Credit: Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC


Over the Rim Part Two – Wide Open Outer Spaces

By Bennett Owen

Wow! Four days, 13-hundred miles and four states behind us, now that is a My-West road trip! Makes you wonder how many miles … make that light-years … these guys had to travel, just to get their butts kicked by Harrison Ford!


Whooo-peee-dooo, this is gonna be good watching!

But as I mentioned in my last post, there is nothing new under the sun no matter which solar system you wander into.  So happens that Sci-Fi Westerns have a long and illustrious history … just check out stardate 4358.3 when the Starship Enterprise, under command of Captain James T. Kirk makes contact with the ‘Melkotians’, only to find himself and his crew in a gunfight at the OK Corral …

Credit: Chicago Tribune

Credit: YouTube

Or, The Time Tunnel, 1967, where two time-traveling scientists get a birds-eye view of the Battle of the Alamo … (click here to watch the full episode)

And not to mention The Wild, Wild, West, with two government agents outfitted with gadgets just slightly ahead of their time …

Credit: Steampunk

Credit: Visual Feast

And the silver screen has a history of genre-creep as well with offerings such as:

-       Westworld

Credit: Michael Heilemann

-       Back to the Future Pt. 3

Credit: bttfstore 

-      Ghost Rider (featuring the mighty Peter Fonda)

Credit: Montrealfilm

And many others, not to mention the iconic, the legendary, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter!

And of course the genre proved irresistible to Rod Serling in ‘The Twilight Zone.’  In this episode, a down-on-his luck pioneer takes a walk ‘100 Yards Over the Rim’ and encounters modern-day Arizona. Well. Modern as in 1961.  Here is all 25 minutes and it’s well worth the time.

Now if I could just transport myself ahead to July 29th!

Credit: Beyond Hollywood


Cowboys & Aliens – 100 Yards Over the Rim

By Bennett Owen


Hot Damn!  Cowboys & Aliens is just one month away! The anticipation only grows as we inch towards opening night. Watch this!


I’m a kid again, counting down to Christmas! I haven’t been this excited since I found the Lone Ranger PJs in my parents’ closet with the ‘For Bennett – From Santa’ tag on it.

Credit: Vintage Treasures

And C&A is a gift that keeps on giving, bringing back the mighty Harrison Ford, restoring him at age 68 to his superstar, mega-force, butt-kicking splendor.  Now if you think the movie is set to be some camp, smirking, half-comedic western satire, you’d be oh-so wrong. Here’s how co-screenwriter Roberto Orci describes what we’re about to see:

“The world feels like the world in ‘3:10 to Yuma’ or even ‘Unforgiven’ but introduced into that are aliens who start attacking … the guys on the horses in the movie have no words for what they’re seeing.”

Credit: Movie Goods

Credit: Coming Soon

And Ford adds this assessment:

“…It’s a cowboy movie first and then stuff happens. Even after stuff happens…it’s still a cowboy movie. And that’s what’s incredible about it because nobody’s done that before, that’s new territory.”

Check out the full and fine Ford profile in the LA Times:

Credit: LA Times

‘3:10 to Yuma’…’Unforgiven’…Now those are some serious credentials.  You know where to find me on July 29th. I’ll be the guy down on the front row, so close to the screen I can count the pixels. Don’t even think about asking me to share the popcorn.

Science Fiction and the Western, mixing the genres, what a novel idea! Seems like someone would have come up with that one years ago…something along the lines of  ‘Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter…’

Credit: imdb

It turns out the Sci Fi western is almost a genre unto itself and we will be exploring it in tomorrow’s post, including a full episode of  ‘Twilight Zone’ that you will NOT want to miss.


Cowboys & Aliens Countdown – Just 99 Days

By Bennett Owen


It’s here! The new trailer! Two minutes and 45 seconds worth of testosterone pumping, hormonal pounding, prime time, kick-butt, John Favreau-induced genius. 


Watch this. When it’s finished hit replay. Thank me later:

Blog-world is abuzz on this one, with comic book connoisseurs enthused that the movie appears to do justice to the wildly popular graphic novel.


Consider this from Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times:

“It's still too soon to tell if the mash-up of westerns and science-fiction conventions will come off as interesting or incongruous.  What does emerge from the trailer is that the movie doesn't skimp on the western atmosphere — something we suspect will play a lot better in a post-"True Grit" world.”


And the mighty Harrison Ford is back big time…thank you, John Favreau! The circle is complete. 


Back in the 1970s I was a teenager laboring in the hay field, starting right after July 4th through the end of August. It got so tiring that some of the hay crew would go down to the meadows after supper and do rain dances in hopes of getting a day off.  One time it worked* and my Uncle Jules took the family to town to see “this movie everyone’s been talking about.” 


At the Big Sky Cinema, the lights went down…and the triumphant strains of Star Wars literally blew us back into our seats where we remained riveted for the next two hours. When it was over we all stared at the blank silver screen, not wanting the experience to be over. That’s the moment my star-struck Uncle Jules put into words what we were all thinking and uttered the immortal line, “go buy some more popcorn, we’re watching this again.”

Credit: Guy Sande

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance – Western saying