Leave it up to Jon Favreau to be shooting for only four weeks and to show up at Comic Con with as much footage as he did. After introducing the cast of Cowboys & Aliens -- including Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and Harrison Ford (who was brought out in handkuffs, mocking a scenario that had just taken place inside Hall H where someone was arrested for stabbing a fellow con-goer in the face) -- Favreau told the crowd that he wanted to do a straight up John Ford-esque Western with old school sci-fi elements reminscent of films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He also insitigated a monstrous cheer from the crowd when he announced the film wouldn't be in 3D. A sign of what's to come? Perhaps.
The footage looked great, beginning with about three straight-up Western scenes setting up Daniel Craig as a stranger who rolls into town with a metal "thing" on his arm and an obvious war story. After being arrested for murder and paraded out into the street, Ford's evil, grimy anti-Indiana Jones Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde demands that Zeke Johnson (Craig) be given to him and ultimately disposed of. It's during this confrontation when alien ships begin attacking the small town, sending folks running for their lives. But Johnson notices that arm bracelet thingy lights up, and he uses it to shoot down one of the ships. And that, my friends, brings us to the above image.
(P.S. Mark my word: Harrison Ford is going to steal every scene he's in.)
I'm personally not crazy about this first image because it immediately cries out "See, the guy who did Iron Man is doing Iron Man as a Western now!", though it does make sense from a marketing standpoint and from a viewpoint of "Let's release an image that mixes both genres and gives people a feel for the film's tone."
What do you think? Cowboys & Aliens hits theaters on July 29th, 2011.