A couple of weeks ago Collider got the scoop from (unnamed) sources that Daniel Craig was being brought in to replace Robert Downey Jr. in the comic book adaptation Cowboys & Aliens (Downey left the project for Sherlock Holmes 2). The news seemed likely but not definite, as scheduling conflicts with the next James Bond flick may have prevented it.

However, it appears that Collider‘s sources were right on the money as Deadline Hollywood has now confirmed that Craig will indeed star in Cowboys & Aliens. We’re not sure where this fits in with Bond 23: We heard a little while ago that production had been delayed because of MGM’s financial troubles. However, even more recently we learned that production on Bond 23 was fast-tracked and possibly would start shooting this summer for a release in 2011. If the latter is still true, then I’m not sure how Craig will be able to juggle both Bond 23 and Cowboys & Aliens as they’re both supposed to start shooting this summer.

Cowboys & Aliens is an excellent move for Craig, as it gives him another property beyond James Bond that has serious franchise potential. Craig will play Zeke Jackson, the leader of the cowboy resistance fighting against an invading race of aliens who want to enslave mankind in the 1800s. The film is based on a graphic novel of the same name and the screenplay is written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Star Trek), as well as Damon Lindelof (Lost). Kurtzman and Orci are producing along with Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Platinum Studios’ Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.

I’m not familiar with the source material, but the idea of seeing cowboys fight an invading band of aliens, with the director of Iron Man, Jon Favreau, at the helm is certainly not a bad thing. Admittedly I would have preferred to see Downey Jr. star in the movie but Craig is a fine choice too in my opinion.

Are you glad Craig has been confirmed for Cowboys & Aliens? Does he fit the role?

As stated, Cowboys & Aliens could start shooting this July for a release sometime in 2011. We’ll keep you updated if that still going to be the case.

Source: Deadline Hollywood