Cowboys & Aliens had a lot of hype leading into its release and was expected to spawn a franchise. Unfortunately, that never became a reality, and while the film's box office has been cited as the main reason in the years since, Cowboys & Aliens creator Scott Mitchell Rosenberg doesn't feel the story is that simple. In an interview with Yahoo!, Rosenberg talked about the project's budget and box office turnout, saying that if the film cost $60 million less to make it would've been considered a bigger hit. That said, that's not why he feels the film never got a sequel, as the reasoning for that comes down to studio politics and perhaps a case of too many chefs in the kitchen.
Because Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard were both attached to the film and with different studios, a deal was struck by DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment, who were owned by Paramount and Universal respectively, to work together on the project.
"They made a deal that they would do it together, which ultimately caused some problems," Rosenberg explains. "Steven was now at Paramount, which Universal was never very happy about. Then DreamWorks started getting into a fight with Paramount. There's no good guys or bad guys in this — it's just the way the business is. But it was a wild ride while we were making the movie," Rosenberg said.
The cast and crew attempted to stay neutral throughout production, but the studios kept getting in each other's way at best and attempting to screw over the other at worse.
"Universal announced the release date for the movie without going over it with DreamWorks," Rosenberg said. "Had everything been cordial, it would have been bumped to the following summer [of 2012] because that way we could have gotten a lot of merchandising going. It was just 11 months without a Christmas in between to do anything. They just weren't working together on things, and people were pointing hands in different directions. It had its effect."
When it came time to plan a sequel, the two sides just couldn't work together. "They couldn't figure out how to do it because of all the studios involved," Rosenberg said. "It was just too complicated for them to deal with. That would have been the advantage of either Universal or Paramount making it, because when we were negotiating the deal we had all these different business affairs departments on the phone at the same time!"
You can find the official description for Cowboys & Aliens below.
"Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford star in this action-packed sci-fi western from the director of Iron Man (Jon Favreau) that critics call "wickedly original, unlike anything you've ever seen" (Jake Hamilton, Fox-TV Houston, TX). A stranger (Craig) stumbles into the desert town of Absolution with no memory of his past and a futuristic shackle around his wrist. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Olivia Wilde) and the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford), he finds himself leading an unlikely posse of cowboys, outlaws, and Apache warriors against a common enemy from beyond this world in an epic showdown for survival."0comments
Cowboys & Aliens is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms now.
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