Orci’s connection to the fans is the most impressive aspect of his creative process. Rarely do you hear filmmakers so openly refer to the fans for advice and direction with upcoming projects.
This interview with IGN shed some light on the progress of Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, putting the writer/producer’s passion on display.
“We’re about to shoot. Man, I can’t believe it. We’re going to be in New Mexico. So we are going to shoot it in a great, real location, which is awesome. We’re still working on the script. The script is getting better and better, I hope.”
Orci also mentions the unfinished casting call, which already features Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Paul Dano.
The most mysterious aspect of Cowboys & Aliens is the tone. As we’re still unsure as to whether it’ll be a light-hearted extraterrestrial romp or a seriously dark Western? The writers are confronting the issue as we speak:
“We started the movie and the first draft was very kind of jokey and broad and then it went very serious. You kind of swing back and forth between the two extremes and the tone until you find the exact right point where a Western and a sci-fi movie can really shake hands without it seeming unnatural.”
He went on to call the film a combination of Unforgiven and Aliens, which sounds about right given the comic book origin.
Alongside his colleague Robert Kurtzman, Orci is one of the only links that audiences have to the cryptic mind of J.J. Abrams. When it comes to Star Trek 2, the production team is still in the development stage.
Details are scarce, but Orci opened up a bit about possibilities that include a re-imagined Khan.
As far as the script process is concerned, Orci expects to be given a due date of this Christmas. The film is scheduled to release in 2012, but the team will “work backwards from 2012″ as they prepare.
Apparently, fans are requesting Lost star Nestor Carbonell as Khan in the sequel. When IGN asked Orci if he takes those suggesting into account, he was gracious as always.
“I bring it up. Any cool suggestion I read from the fans I’ll bring up in our meetings. And I’ll say, ‘One of the fans suggested this.’ So this has always been an experiment in fan consultation for us. They really are consultants on the movie.”
IGN went on to point out that many sequels take on a darker tone. While this is generally true, Star Trek was generally pretty light – even though a number of death find their way into the story.
Star Trek was exciting and fun, as opposed to serious and moody.
“I think maybe thematically, because we don’t have the burden of an origin story, we can play a little bit more with the theme and it can be a little bit more complicated. But I still think we like fun. Star Trek has always been funny. Even Wrath of Khan has got some great great, great fun in it. “
Personally, I think a Star Trek sequel would find more success in maintaining the tone of the first film. There are plenty of dark action films right now, with The Dark Knight leading a quasi-revolution. I wish studios would recognize that not every film should follow the style of The Dark Knight.
Iron Man and Star Trek were two blockbuster action films that found a niche in clean fun for everybody – even with a good chunk of destruction.
What do you think of the potential for both Cowboys & Aliens and Star Trek 2? Are Roberto Orci and Co. on the right track? Sound off int he comments section below.
Cowboys & Aliens lands in theaters on July 29th, 2011.
Star Trek 2 is set to beam up in the summer of 2012.