A high concept movie from the director of “Iron Man,” starring James Bond and Indiana Jones, what could go wrong? Well, as audiences and critics found out with “Cowboys & Aliens,” quite a lot. The 2011 summer blockbuster flop with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, with Jon Favreau behind the camera, was considered a risk then, and viewed as folly now. And producer Brian Grazer admits he regrets taking this movie on, attracted by the package, but having no clue what the material was all about.
Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Friday, Grazer was candid that he had many “mulligans” in life, this film being one of them. “I agreed to be part of a movie called Cowboys & Aliens,” he explained. “I don’t like cowboys, or aliens! But there were a lot of superstars involved with it — Ron Howard; Steven Spielberg; the director of ‘Iron Man,’ Jon Favreau. I remember having this one meeting, an early meeting, and they’re talking about the title, ‘Cowboys and Aliens.’ I said, ‘We aren’t really calling it that, are we?’ [The others said] ‘Yeah, of course we are!’ I was going, ‘I don’t get this at all.'”
However, Grazer did come away with a life lesson. “Every once in a while I rationalize quality,” he said. “There are so many decision you make, and you’re trying to do excellence. We know what excellence is. We know what better food is versus not good food. But there’s a rationalizing process — that’s good enough. Anytime the light bulb goes, that’s good enough, it’s shitty!”
No argument there. But how has “Cowboys & Aliens” aged for you? Let us know in the comments section below. [The Atlantic]