Downey Jr. Takes On Cowboys

Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to star in DreamWorks and Universal’s pulpy sci-fi/western “Cowboys & Aliens” says The Hollywood Reporter.

Based on a graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, 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, Arizona.

The story draws a parallel between the American imperialist drive to conquer the “savage” Indians with its advanced technology and the aliens’ assault on Earthlings, who must join together to survive the invaders’ attack. Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus penned the script.

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Steven Spielberg, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing. A Summer 2010 release is planned.