We’ve known for quite some time that an adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboys and Aliens was coming, with the script written by Star Trek and Transformers writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, as well as Lost co-creator/writer Damon Lindelof. Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr. has been attached to the project for a while along with Iron Man director, Jon Favreau, making it look more and more likely that RDJ would definitely sign.

The last we heard, Orci and Kurtzman were working on the script, going back and watching old Westerns to analyze them. We learn today from Kim Masters in a post at The Daily Beast that Cowboy and Aliens will start shooting this July, possibly in 3D. The latter notion comes from the fact that the article is about “Life After Avatar” and how James Cameron’s epic will help more 3D films get made in the future.

As /Film points out – if Cowboys and Aliens is going to shoot in July, that’s pretty tight to the May release of another little project involving both Favreau and RDJ called Iron Man 2. It’s not totally impossible, but it hardly gives Favreau (and RDJ if he ends up starring) time to take a break after what was sure to be a tiring shoot with the Iron Man sequel. If he can do it then great, but I wouldn’t want him to rush back into working just for the sake of getting Cowboys and Aliens done as soon as possible where quality might end up suffering (I’m not saying it will).

In case you’re not familiar with Cowboys and Aliens, it was originally a graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, published by Harper Collins and Platinum Studios back in 2006. You can probably guess but the story revolves around the battle between cowboys and aliens after the latter appear on earth in the mid-1800s to try and enslave humankind. I haven’t read the graphic novel but that sounds as weird and wonderful as it gets!

As for the possibility of it being in 3D, anyone who has read Screen Rant for any length of time will know our consensus on the technology: if it’s employed to enhance the film by making you feel part of the world, and it can do that without distracting you from the experience then it’s absolutely fine. It’s at least a good thing that they’re thinking of 3D ahead of time for the project so that if they decide to employ the technology they can shoot it for that purpose, instead of shooting it normally and converting it later.

Would you like to see Cowboys and Aliens hit our screens in three dimensions? Are you familiar with the source material? If you are (or even if you’re not) do you think it’s an idea that will work in movie form?

As stated, Cowboys and Aliens is reportedly set to start shooting this July, and is tentatively set for a release in 2011.

Sources: The Daily Beast and /Film