Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman have got to be two of the most popular writers in Hollywood right now. Like, love or hate their work, as script writers they have turned into a very hot commodity and are quickly becoming the “go-to” guys for sci-fi scripts. With projects like Star Trek 2, Cowboys & Aliens, View-Master and multiple Fringe episodes on their plate, they have no shortage of work (which in this economy is a good thing).

Recently the great guys and gals at Collider were able to talk to Orci and Kurtzman and they managed wrangle some really good information from them in what turned out to be a lengthy interview. We’ve already discussed the parts about Star Trek 2 and their decision NOT to be involved with Transformers 3, which they confirmed during this same interview. You check out the entire interview here, but I’ll go through some of the highlights as they talk about  Cowboys & Aliens, and a once popular toy, View-Master.

For those that may not know, Cowboys & Aliens first started as a graphic novel (does anyone call them comic books anymore?) by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg that was published by Platinum Studios and Harper Collins in 2006. Written by the talented team of Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, the story revolves around beings from another world landing in Arizona during the mid-1800s with the goal of enslaving the human race.  That crap may have worked in France but over here in the U.S. of A. we had Cowboys and Indians to fight back against alien scum! Sorry I got carried away; it happens because I’m southern.

Cowboys & Aliens is being helmed by Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau and will most likely star Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. That’s great news because both have proved themselves to be fans of comics and have already helped to elevate lesser known comic book lore to pop culture heights. So how do Orci and Kurtzman feel about working with Favreau and where are they drawing their inspiration from for Cowboys & Aliens?

Alex: It’s the greatest.

Bob: We just started and we’re getting along really well. We’ve sent ourselves back to school and we’re watching Westerns together and analyzing them. We’re just getting into it.  We just watched The Searchers last.

Alex: We had a lot of these Westerns in our head, but Jon is an incredible fountain of Western knowledge.

Bob: And, Star Trek was originally pitched as a space Western, anyway, so it was a nice lead up to this, for us.

Alex: I think Jon also comes from a very similar emotional place and, because he’s an actor, he knows what plays and what doesn’t play very quickly. We’re having an unbelievably good time working with him.

I think that’s great that they are pulling from some older westerns for inspiration and I had no idea that Favreau was a big western buff. I wonder if he dresses up and goes to Old West Conventions walking with his best John Wayne swagger, dressed in chaps, a dusty vest, a bandana wrapped around his neck, and a six shooter strapped to his leg, tipping his hat to the ladies and saying “Howdy”. HEH, I just made myself chuckle.

Continue reading for Orci/Kurtzman updates on View-Master

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