Jon Favreau Talks about the COWBOYS & ALIENS Super Bowl Trailer

Yesterday we had a chance to see a lot more of Jon Favreau's upcoming sci-fi adventure film Cowboys & Aliens, and I don't know about you, but I think the movie looks like its going to be a blast! The new Super Bowl trailer gave us a better look at what the tone of the film would be, and also gave us our first look the alien ships in the story. 

Favreau recently did an interview with EW in which he breaks down the trailer, talks about what was revealed as well as what wasn't revealed, and what we have to look forward to. 


We wanted to reveal the tone a little bit more. The first one … people didn’t know if it was meant to be funny, or meant to be dark, but it made an impression. People are getting used to what it is now, they’re aware of the title, and we want to show them it’s an adventure.

For me the first (trailer) was like ‘holy s—, these things are coming! What are they? Then you reveal the blaster on his wrist. In this one, instead of everyone running for cover, you see one guy is gonna jump on the back of these things … and we’ll see what that leads to.

People will be dissecting these 30-second trailers, so tell us up front — what are we not seeing? 

We haven’t shown any of the aliens. We want to hold that back. And all the images we’re showing are from the beginning, up to the first half of the film. We’re not showing a lot of where it goes. The first teaser was showing the opening of the film and a little of the setup. This one is showing more of the sense of adventure as things unfold. We’re just trying to get people’s feet wet. 

In other words, this is not Wild Wild West. 

There’s a level of fun, but that doesn’t mean we have to wink. The characters aren’t having fun, but the audience is. We wanted to maintain the integrity of both genres, and focus on a specific aspect of the alien genre which mostly revolves around the films of the ’80s that I grew up with, and I’m lucky enough to be working with Spielberg (Cowboys & Aliens executive producer), who was the author of many of the films we’re using as inspiration. And sometimes it’s fun to play things as thriller, sometimes verging on horror, like Alien or Aliens. We wanted to maintain that gravity. 

Craig's character leaps onto a low-flying spacecraft for some alien-style bronco-busting. 

It looks like you’re drawing a lot more on the Western genre. That shot of Craig riding a horse along a ravine and jumping onto the spacecraft mirrors a lot of classic western images of the cowboy riding alongside the tracks and jumping onto a moving train.

And it was something that echoes Indiana Jones chasing the truck in (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and that was echoing stunts that were done in (1939′s) Stagecoach. So we’re constantly referencing back to our roots.  

Is there any criticism of the spots that you take to heart, that make you think about adjusting as you finish up for July? 

I think the only thing is sometimes you have people who don’t know what it is yet. They’re like, ‘Is this a spoof?’ It’s the Super Bowl; they don’t know what it is. But the ratio is shifting from the people who don’t know what it is to the people who do. I’m confident by time summer rolls around, people will know what it is. And the best way to learn about it is from each other. We’ve lit the fuse, and now the people who understand it get to talk to the people who don’t. 

As you know the film has an awesome cast of actors that includes Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Clancey Brown. Cowboys & Aliens is scheduled to hit theaters July 29th 2011. 


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