About ‘Cowboys & Aliens’
Cowboys & Aliens is a 2011 American science fiction Western film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. The film is based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. The main plot revolves around an amnesiac outlaw (Craig), a wealthy cattleman (Ford), and a mysterious traveler (Wilde) who must ally to save a group of townspeople abducted by aliens. The screenplay was written by Damon Lindelof,Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby, based on a story by the latter two along with Steve Oedekerk. The film was produced by Brian Grazer,Ron Howard, Kurtzman, Lindelof, Orci, and Rosenberg, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer.
The project began development in 1997, when Universal Pictures and DreamWorks bought film rights to a concept pitched by Rosenberg, former president at Malibu Comics, which he described as a graphic novel in development. After the graphic novel was published in 2006, development on the film was begun again, and Favreau signed on as director in September 2009. On a budget of $163 million, filming for Cowboys & Aliens began in June 2010, in New Mexico and California. Despite pressures to release the film in 3-D, Favreau chose to film traditionally and in anamorphic format to further a “classic movie feel”. Measures were taken to maintain a serious Western element despite the film’s “inherently comic” title and premise. The film’s aliens were designed to be “cool and captivating”, with some details, such as a fungus that grows on their wounds, created to depict the creatures as frontiersmen facing adversity in an unfamiliar place.
Cowboys & Aliens premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 23, 2011. It was released in the United States and Canada on July 29, 2011. It was considered a financial disappointment as it barely grossed more than its $163 million budget, standing at an estimated $165.3 million worldwide as ofSeptember 2011. The film has received mixed reviews, with critics generally praising its acting but criticizing its blend of the Western and science fiction genres.