Favreau Unveils Kick Ass 'Cowboys & Aliens' Footage at WonderCon
by Alex Billington
April 2, 2011
We've already been introduced to Cowboys & Aliens by director Jon Favreau numerous times before, including a rather unforgettable presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con last year when they brought out Harrison Ford in handcuffs for his first ever Comic-Con appearance. But now we're here at their sister event WonderCon in San Francisco with only four months left until release and Favreau has returned again to give us another new glimpse of Cowboys & Aliens. And boy have they come a long way. Although I loved the footage last year, this looks like a truly kick ass western/sci-fi mash-up. More quotes from Favreau below!
Favreau kicked things off by talking about how happy he was to be at WonderCon and show this footage. "This reminds me a lot of what Comic-Con was like when I first started going to Comic-Con… It's a little more intimate and [we] can really have a dialogue here." That's exactly why I return ever year. He explained that this was their last moment to be in communication with the fans, because after today there isn't a big event until Comic-Con 2011 which is only a week before the movie is released (July 29th). And to compete with Green Lantern (watch that footage here), he decided to show a select 9 minutes of footage that he specifically chose for WonderCon that was only shown there - it won't be released online like Green Lantern.
What I love the most about the movie is the style and tone, as the cinematography (courtesy of Oscar nominee Matty Libatique) and coloring looked awesome, even better than it did last year. When there's aliens it has a very blue, hazy feel, which is contrasted by the bright, sunny Southwestern landscape, as they shot entirely in New Mexico. Favreau explained that they had "beautiful landscapes and a great community of filmmakers in New Mexico" where they filmed, though he admits that "I prefer shooting in California when I can" and that "I don't think a film's quality should be affected by chasing tighter margins" or big tax breaks, which is really the reason they originally went to New Mexico to begin with. But that's all besides the point!
The scenes he selected contained a lot of action as well as an early look at the storyline involving Daniel Craig as the outsider and it looked awesome (best word I can think of to describe it). The visual effects are really coming together. There's an odd balance of tone, with Sam Rockwell as the quirky comedic/crazy character, but it wasn't off-putting. "I wanted the characters to be freaked out, while the audience is laughing. I want the excitement to come from the juxtaposition of things," Favreau said during the panel. He didn't reveal too much though, as he said there's "the whole end of the movie with the aliens on the ground" that they're not going to giveaway at all in any of the marketing or trailers - they'll save all of that for everyone to see in theaters.
However, I can tell you that he did give us a glimpse of the aliens that are attacking by way of a quick tease shot at the very end of the footage when a young kid runs hiding into a rocky alcove and alien sticks his face in and "roars" at him. It reminded me of the way Kilowog looks (from Green Lantern), but darker, angrier, nastier. These aliens are obviously very vicious, as one scene we saw shows blood being splattered on a window inside as it attacks someone. For more quotes from the Q&A, head to SlashFilm. I can't wait to see the next trailer for this and, of course, the movie itself - Favreau has another kick ass geek hit on his hands.