As I watched Daniel Craig at Comic-Con and the footage from Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens, I crossed my fingers that he would play Mikael Blomqvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And sure enough, Deadline reports that the deal is done.The tricky thing that had to be navigated was how all the studios would map out the schedule for all the films Craig has coming up–from James Bond and Cowboys and Aliens, which just started filming, to the fast-tracked sequels to Dragon Tattoo. Bond is still on hold for now, but that will be a priority for Craig later on. But Sony wants him badly enough to take that chance. Now Dragon Tattoo will start after Craig finishes Cowboys and Aliens.
Why is Craig such a hot ticket? He’s in his prime, virile and dangerous–as well as having the attributes of a great character actor. He changes like a chameleon from role to role, and is always utterly believable. He’s capable of being a good guy or a bad guy.
And yet based on the footage I saw, I have mixed feelings about Cowboys and Aliens. I take westerns seriously and while Favreau is clearly trying to channel Sergio Leone (harmonicas and all), and wants the film to start from a pure western base, seeing Craig fight aliens disturbed me. Westerns are about America’s image of itself, they are not about high-tech VFX and explosions. As much as I admire the creative people behind Cowboys and Aliens, including the writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the footage left me unsettled. Of course, this cobbled together footage does not reflect the experience of an entire film.