It was already quite a coup to land James Bond and Indiana Jones in one movie, but for Cowboys Vs. Aliens director Jon Favreau, getting Harrison Ford to Comic-Con was the true challenge. In front of the Hall H faithful in San Diego Saturday, Favreau appeared with stars Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell along with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Then, trailing slightly behind, a handcuffed Harrison Ford was lead in by two large security guards. The crowd erupted at the icon of geekdom’s first show appearance.
Dark Horizons spoke to Jon Favreau shortly after the presentation, who explained what the handcuffs were all about. “That’s sort of an inside joke between us,” says Favreau. “I said, ‘You’re coming to Comic-Con with me’ and he said, ‘I’ve never been there. I’m not going. If you’re going to bring me, you’ve got to bring me in handcuffs.’ I showed up with handcuffs yesterday on the set from the prop man. And so he came and wore the handcuffs on stage.”
Before Favreau wound up directing Cowboys, Robert Downey Jr. was attached to the project while Orci and Kurtzman finished the script. But by the time Favreau spoke with the writers, the re-teaming with Tony Stark wasn’t meant to be. “Sherlock hit and he had to clear his slate for Sherlock 2,” says Favreau. “The script wasn’t written yet, he was just kind of attached in theory. And so I was aware of the project and also Fergus and Ostby, who wrote the first Iron Man, wrote the first draft of this. I met with Kurtzman and Orci actually here last year at Comic-Con. We set up a meeting and they were talking about Cowboys Vs. Aliens. It sounded like a really cool concept. I read the script and I loved it. So once I came on, we continued to develop it, I had artists do artwork and show the tone of the film that I was going for.”
If you can’t get Iron Man, Bond and Indy will just have to do. “I loved Craig’s take on Bond and really enjoyed Layer Cake,” says Favreau. “We pulled it together and once he came on board it gave a tone to the lead because Daniel Craig has a certain presence to him. And then with Harrison, it was just one of those things where it worked out to do a movie with him. I’m a huge fan of his, there was an opportunity and the timing was right. He came on board and its been a dream.”
The director unveiled a surprisingly large amount of footage, especially considering that the film is still in the early stages of production. “We’re about a month in, maybe five weeks,” says Favreau. “I’m losing track because we’re working six day weeks so my head’s spinning. I just worked until six in the morning last night and flew in here today. But it’s Comic-Con, what am I going to do, not come?”
The footage was very well received by the crowd. When Favreau announced that Cowboys would not be in 3D because he was going for a certain vintage western look, the audience cheered loudly.
To finish the interview off, we asked Favreau about his concerns tackling western, sci-fi and period piece all at once, but he only quipped back with, “Well, if we had to do a sequel, we’ve got problems. What could we do? Cowboys and Vampires? Cowboys and Aliens and Martians? I don’t know. Thankfully, this one’s going well, so those are good problems. I don’t know what else you’d mix in. Zombies, I would like to do zombies. That’s a genre that, if this goes well, I could even do like a bit zombie movie.”