Will Jon Favreau play Cowboys & Aliens with Robert Downey Jr.?

With Iron Man 2 in the can, director Jon Favreau might want to play Cowboys & Aliens, based on the Platinum Studios Comics graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, Variety reported. Though the studio declined comment, Favreau has been circling the DreamWorks/Universal project, which has had Downey attached since last summer.

The film is set in the Old West, where cowboys and Native Americans battle in Arizona until a spaceship crashes and a new enemy emerges, equipped with superior technology. That graphic novel was published in 2006, but Hollywood has been hot for the high-concept project since the movie was first acquired by Universal and DreamWorks in 1997.

That sale was made based on a one-sheet of a cowboy and a spaceship, with Steve Oedekerk aboard to write and direct. The project subsequently moved to Columbia Pictures and Escape Artists, and then back to Universal and DreamWorks, and the script has been through at least seven writers or writer teams.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek 2) are rewriting the script with Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof. A summer 2010 production start is eyed.

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