It looks like “Cowboys & Aliens” will saddle up in San Diego.
Filmmaker Jon Favreau had just walked off stage Sunday night after a sparkling “Iron Man” reunion at the Hero Complex Film Festival, but his thoughts were already on a far-bigger spotlight moment this summer — Comic-Con International in San Diego.
“The worldwide premiere of ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ will be at Comic-Con,” the director said of his hard-edged sci-fi western that stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell “And not only are we going to premiere it there, we’re going to find a way to include as many of the fans as possible. I feel like they’ve come out for me, they’ve supported me.”
The movie goes into wide release on July 29 with its tale of an alien invasion in six-shooter days of 1873 Arizona. To some ears, the title might suggest a bit of camp, but the absolute opposite is the case — the nine minutes of footage that Favreau brought as a surprise to the Sunday night festival audience showed intense Old West action and men with gun-metal eyes making hard choices in an unforgiving terrain. The audience gave a robust ovation for the footage, suggesting that Favreau might be poised to deliver his third big hit following the “Iron Man” films in 2008 and 2010 that combined for a billion-dollar success. This new film puts him at the point-position of a behind-the-camera team that includes producers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and executive producer Steven Spielberg
Favreau said details are being put in place for the premiere, and that he would have more to say very soon. San Diego has been especially kind to the filmmaker, and he had shown a flair for showmanship and fan connection that (along with his acting career) has earned him more than a million followers on Twitter. There will be serious logistical challenges ahead — it won’t be easy to carve out a spot for a world premiere amid the madness and din of Comic-Con week — but Favreau knows the San Diego rodeo better than anyone in Hollywood.
“That’s where it all started, and I want to give back,” he said. “They should have the opportunity to see it first.”
UPDATE: Universal now says the premiere will be at the 2,967-seat San Diego Civic Theatre on July 23. The red carpet events begin at 7 p.m. with the film to follow an hour later. Ticket info will follow at the “Cowboys & Aliens” outlets on Facebook and Twitter.
— Geoff Boucher
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