The official synopsis for Dreamwork's comic book movie adaptation Cowboys and Aliens has been released and it expands on the basic premise indicated by the film's title.
Fresh off the (unsurprising) success of Iron Man 2, director Jon Favreau will take on Cowboys and Aliens as his next project. He will work from a script written by Lost writer Damon Lindelof and the Star Trek reboot scribers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Cowboys and Aliens boasts two A-list stars - Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford - as the leads in the sci-fi-meets-western romp. It additionally features a top-notch supporting cast that includes the likes of Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy) along with the recently-added Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2) and Noah Ringer (The Last Airbender).
So what exactly will the plot of Cowboys and Aliens entail? Well, you read the official summary below and find out for yourselves:
[caption id="attachment_59670" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="The cast for 'Cowboys and Aliens.'"][/caption]
1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It's a town that lives in fear.
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents - townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors - all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
There are definitely shades of the classic Sergio Leone westerns in this plot description - the "Man with No Name" character (played by Clint Eastwood) in particular sounds like an archetype for Craig's stranger. Additionally, the uniting of outlaws in the face of a common threat brings to mind Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - another western that Favreau has previously stated he was drawing inspiration from in terms of the tone and feel he wants Cowboys and Aliens to have.
It will be interesting to see how the film blends its sci-fi and western elements together. Will it resemble the picturesque films of John Ford in its portrayal of a wild American frontier (bespotted by killer aliens)? Or will it look more like the original Predator, only with cowboys in the desert instead of soldiers in the jungle?
More importantly - how much more excited are you for Cowboys and Aliens now that you have a better idea of what it's about?
Cowboys and Aliens makes its way into theaters in the U.S. on July 29, 2011.