Director Jon Favreau presented exclusive footage from his highly anticipated sci-fi-Western genre bender, Cowboys & Aliens, this afternoon at WonderCon in San Francisco.
Co-writer Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Fringe) hosted a Q&A session with the director following the presentation - and both were available for select press interviews at the conclusion of the panel. The following is an account of all that we saw, heard, and learned at the Cowboys & Aliens event.
Jon Favreau opened the panel by expressing his sincere gratitude to the fans at WonderCon and ComicCon (as well as fans of his work in general) who have helped to create and support his career.
Orci and Favreau then gave a brief overview of their involvement with the project, which had been in development for nearly a decade when Iron Man writers, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, did an initial draft. After which, as Orci says, "'Iron Man' came out and they became too expensive." As a result, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof became the primary scribes after the the first draft was complete (they are all also producers on the film) - and with the addition of Favreau as a director the tone of the project really began to take shape.
Pre-production on the film was done with the casting of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in mind - as Favreau says, "two generations of action stars coming head to head." The cast is packed with powerful actors, who were happy to come on board, even for smaller roles in a film that offered them each an opportunity to stretch and play in a unique world - both cinematically classic and fresh at the same time.
We were able to see nine minutes of footage from the film, the bulk of which we had seen in our earlier edit bay visit with Favreau - which you can read about HERE.
That said, the WonderCom audience was treated to an exclusive peek at the aliens themselves - which are being held back in the current marketing campaign (to give moviegoers at least one major surprise on release). A smart and bold choice.
Ultimately, Cowboys & Aliens looks to seamlessly combine and honor two genres as well as let the fun and humor (which there is plenty of) speak for itself - really imagining what it would be like if an alien invasion had occurred in the old west.
Other highlights from the panel include:
- Olivia Wilde's message to fans that she, in fact, does sleep naked. Enjoy that one!
We were there to attend the panel and speak with the stars, and have created a video breakdown with our friend Eric Eisenberg from Cinema Blend to give an overview of the panel discussion and the footage that was show. Take a look at our video below:
Cowboys & Aliens arrives in theaters on July 29th 2011 - directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, and Noah Ringer.