Cowboys & Aliens Almost Became a Steve Oedekerk Comedy In 1997

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in Cowboys & Aliens
(Image credit: Universal)

We’re about a month away from Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, which pairs James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against hostile invaders from another planet. But what would Cowboys have looked like if the version that was in development in 1997 had seen the light of day? Safe to say it would be very different from Favreau’s finished product, primarily because Steve Oedekerk, helmer of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Kung Pow: Enter the Fist was on board to direct.

To quote Ace, “Alllllllrighty then!”

Oedekerk, who receives a story credit on Favreau’s upcoming film, was going to do a version that suggested the aliens had lived among the native Americans for a while, and trouble occurs when cowboys get their hands on extraterrestrial technology. The site, which is developing this story, has pieces of concept art from Rolf Mohr like this:

They also background information on the project. My favorite of the sketches is the one above with a very sexy, “Calamity Jane” inspired cowgirl hog-tying a spiky-backed dinosaur-looking creature. It’s like Jurassic Park meets Wild, Wild West, only more awesome.

Odenkirk's movie had all sorts of unique ideas. For instance somehow, the aliens were supposed to have spent time living with Native Americans, and that time spent may have somehow influenced the look of the invaders' costumes, even to the point of incorporating traditional Native American jewels and symbols into their look.

Needless to say, this version never got off the ground, and Favreau eventually brought Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s 2006 comic to screen. And while we are on that topic, if you're a fan of Ford, Favreau, or the Iron Man director’s outstanding IFC series Dinner for Five, you need to check out theseconversation Favs has with his leading man. They're an extremely loose and friendly discussion about all things Aliens as well as Ford’s place in Hollywood. The man is a notoriously tough interview, but Favreau knows how to get him to open up.

Here's a couple of amazing clips from Jon Favreau and Harrison Ford's interview series together, to get you started:

These are great, and I can only hope Favreau does more of this with every member of his Cowboys cast.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.