LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Newly minted A-lister
Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to star in
DreamWorks/Universal's "Cowboys & Aliens," a pulpy mix of the
sci-fi and Western genres that could serve as a potential 2010
The deal would be Downey's first since propelling Marvel
Studios' "Iron Man" to $500 million-plus in worldwide loot (and
growing). He next will be seen in the comedy "Tropic Thunder"
in August, followed by the drama "The Soloist" in November,
both for DreamWorks.
"Cowboys & Aliens" derives from a graphic novel written by
Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley from an original idea by
Rosenberg. The story centers on an Old West battle between the
Apache and Western settlers, including a former Union Army
gunslinger named Zeke Jackson (Downey), that is interrupted by
a spaceship crashing into the prairie near Silver City,
The story draws a parallel between the American imperialist
drive to use advanced technology to conquer the "savage"
Indians and the aliens' assault on earthlings, who must join
together to survive the invaders' attack.
The project has been in development at several studios over
the past 10 years. Among the writers who have drafted versions
of the adaptation are David Hayter ("X2: X-Men United"), Thomas
Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer ("Sahara"), Jeffrey Boam
("Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"), Thompson Evans
("Wedlocked"), Chris Hauty ("Never Back Down") and Steve
Oedekerk ("Evan Almighty").
The most recent draft, by "Iron Man" and "Children of Men"
writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, clearly hit the right
notes, as the project looks poised to gain its major players