SDCC 2010: First Image, Synopsis and Complete Recap of COWBOYS & ALIENS Panel at Comic-Con Including Footage and Harrison Ford!

     July 24, 2010


When Jon Favreau comes to Comic-Con, he tends brings something huge. First it was Iron Man, then it was War Machine, and this year it was Indiana Jones.  For the second half of the Universal panel, Favreau presented about ten minutes from Cowboys & Aliens, which is only a month into shooting, and brought along stars Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach and — for his first Comic-Con ever — Harrison Ford.

Before he paraded out the cast and showed the footage though, Favreau officially announced that despite 3D tests that looked great, he didn’t want to shoot a western on video. And he was not doing a post-production conversion. So the film will be in 2D. “Take the money you save and see it two times,” he said.

Hit the jump to hear about two epic entrances and two scenes from a movie that we won’t see until July 29, 2011.

UPDATE: We’ve also been given the first synopsis for the movie. It’s after the jump:

jon_favreau_image__2_After the Paul panel (which was totally awesome) there were a few minutes of an empty stage before AC/DC’s Back in Black started blaring from the speakers and Favreau simply walked onto the stage. He’s been here before, no introduction needed. He made the 2D announcement and made sure he let everyone know that he has been shooting Cowboys & Aliens for four weeks, is still shooting, but wanted to bring a few people to Comic-Con. Craig, Wilde, Rockwell and Beach all got nice ovations. But no one expected Ford to make his first appearance.

It was the first, but not last, time I’ve seen the entire 6,000 seat Hall H jump up for an ovation in unison and it’s no surprise it was for  the man who played Indy, Han, Dekkar, Ryan and others. (He also came out in handcuffs, by the way, a joke about the stabbing which occurred earlier in the evening). The applause was raucous, the crowd went crazy and the ovation lasted for a solid minute straight.

First was a few fan questions. Harrison Ford never expected something like this, Daniel Craig wants to get the new Bond done as soon as possible (but has no updates) and Favreau said that the tone of this movie, which obviously blends two totally different genres, would be straight western – Sergio Leone/John Ford style. However, in that mold, there would be a practical looking alien presence like the films of the ‘80s and ‘90s. And then, on top of that, the modern CG would only be used to enhance the effects.

But, since he felt we would need a little more description, Favreau had cut together a few minutes. Everything was unfinished, but it would give us an idea of the tone.

It did.

cowboys_and_aliens_test_pictureThe first scene started with Craig riding into town on a horse. It looked very classic Western in every way. He walks into a building and begins washing his face and we notice that he’s wounded. He begins to wash the wound when a gun is pointed at the back of his hear. “Only two kinds of people get shot – criminals and victims, which one are you?” Cut.

Craig’s character is in jail in the second scene alongside Paul Dano. He slams him into the jail cell because they had some kind of issue. The sherriff takes them both out to move them when a posse comes into town, lead by Harrison Ford, who is Dano’s father. He wants Craig’s character right now because he stole his gold but just as the situation begins to get hairy, a mysterious line of lights appears on the horizon. Everyone begins to stare. And then, they begin to shoot the crap out of the town. Explosions everywhere. The wagon cracks open and Craig comes out. Earlier we noticed he was wearing a mysterious braclet and now it’s lit up. He stands on the street, points it up, and shoots down the spaceship which crashes into the middle of town. Ford’s character walks up, looks at Craig’s character, the braclet closes and the scene ends.

Favreau promises he’ll be back next year because Cowboys & Aliens will be out on July 29, 2011.

The footage wasn’t anything totally incredible but it set up an amazing amount of possibilities and I feel like that’s all you can ask for after a mere few weeks of shooting. Here’s hoping Favreau has something special here. I think he really might.

[Update: The first official image of Daniel Craig in costume was released. Click for high resolution]

For more Comic-Con coverage, click here.

Here’s the first official synopsis:


July 29, 2011

Genre:                    Action Thriller

Cast:                        Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde,Sam Rockwell

Directed by:        Jon Favreau

Writers:               Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Damon Lindelof

Based on the Graphic Novel

Created by: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

Executive Producers:   Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Bobby Cohen, Denis L. Stewart

Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens.  Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers—Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci—he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world.

1873.  Arizona Territory.  A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution.  The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist.  What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford).  It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky.  Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.  As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force.  With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation.  United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

The script for Cowboys & Aliens is by Star Trek’s Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof (television’s Lost), based on Platinum Studios’ graphic novel created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.  Grazer, Howard, Rosenberg, Kurtzman and Orci produce.  Spielberg and Denis L. Stewart executive produce.

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