Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens is Losing Robert Downey Jr.
Smart decision, Downey. Last September it was announced that Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. would be re-teaming for the adaptation of Platinum Comics' series Cowboys & Aliens. Not anymore. The LA Times is reporting tonight that Downey will no longer star in the film, but it will still move forward with Favreau attached as director. Production is still tentatively set to begin this year for a release in the summer of 2011. Apparently Downey Jr. left because of "scheduling issues," which is a bit odd considering he hasn't announced what he's going to be working on following Due Date (which already finished shooting anyway).
Here's why I think this is actually a very smart decision. Downey Jr. is already the king of two incredibly successful and very popular franchises: Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. And if he were to take on another comic book adaptation, at the same time sequels for each of those other franchises were being developed, it would just seem like Downey was starring in Cowboys & Aliens as a gunslinging Tony Stark (which I'm sure some people would've been happy seeing). I'd love to see him diversify his slate with more unique roles like that of Charlie Chaplin rather than fill it up with franchise after franchise. It just would've been too much.
So, truthfully, I'm happy to hear that Cowboys & Aliens is searching for another lead. The script is being written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and is being produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks is developing. We'll let you know once they find a replacement for Zeke Jackson, the gunslinger who leads an anti-alien revolt when the creatures land in Arizona circa the mid-19th century.