July 26, 2011 | 2:31 p.m.
It was quite the Hollywood posse — Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Ron Howard and Olivia Wilde? Comic-Con International has been bringing in movie stars for years now, but the San Diego pop-culture expo has never seen anything like the world premiere of “Cowboys & Aliens” on Saturday. Favreau, the director of the film and a true savant when it comes to fanboy culture and film promotion, championed the idea of making the premiere a Comic-Con tie-in. It was at Comic-Con that Favreau found his way to the project in the first place (as he explained to Hero Complex when we visited the film’s New Mexico set), and it was at Comic-Con that he introduced the movie to the world last year via a memorable preview panel. If the movie does well when it opens Friday, he might just round up the […]
July 17, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.
You see the strangest things in the desert. Last year, for instance, if you followed a ridgeline in Abiquiu, N.M., you would have discovered a massive alien spaceship and, nearby, James Bond strumming a ukulele beneath a wispy tamarix tree. “Wait around,” he muttered, “and Indiana Jones might show up too.” The man with the four-string uke was actor Daniel Craig, who is best known as the British spy 007 but was on this particular day on location with “Cowboys & Aliens,” an audacious $180-million film that also stars “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hero Harrison Ford. Both actors have brought grim, granite stares to the project, which leads to a nagging question: Is this film as silly as its title or as fierce as its famous faces? “I’m not sure anyone knows what to make of this movie,” Craig […]
June 14, 2011 | 8:06 a.m.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard will soon be treading into the fantasy landscapes of “The Dark Tower” for a wildly ambitious film and television adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus, and when he does there’s no doubt that his mind will turn back to “Willow,” the 1988 sword-and-sorcery film that tested Howard more than any other project. “For me that was sort of like going to grad school,” Howard said of the collaboration with producer George Lucas, who had come up with the concept more than 15 years earlier. “There was a new level of understanding that I needed to come to terms with the greater canvas, the greater cinematic canvas. Of course, George Lucas is sort of a natural master in that regard and [the project] was his idea. So while I was given global latitude — and it was even the first time I was […]
April 25, 2011 | 2:04 p.m.
Standing in the desert with a six-shooter on his hip, Harrison Ford seemed as surprised as anyone by the fact that he hadn’t starred in a cowboy movie since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. “Back in the hat … yeah, it has been a long time,” Ford said last year as the crew of “Cowboys & Aliens” set up for a chase scene. “Longer than a lot of these guys have been alive, I’m sure.” The crew of director Jon Favreau’s new film can be forgiven if they aren’t familiar with 1979’s “The Frisco Kid,” the Old West comedy that paired Ford as a bank-robbing bandit with Gene Wilder as a Polish rabbi trying to survive the frontier trek to San Francisco. If that doesn’t sound like a pure western, well neither is this latest movie, which arrives in theaters […]
Dec. 17, 2010 | 12:10 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE The bookshelf creations of Stephen King have been keeping people up at night for decades but Ron Howard has been losing sleep lately for a different reason — the Oscar-winning filmmaker is becoming a bit obsessive about his plan to bring King’s most epic creation, “The Dark Tower,” to the movie screen. “I really can’t stop thinking about it,” Howard said while shaking his head. “We’ve been meeting and talking and I’ve been reading and researching and just kind of living with it. I’ve been constantly going through stuff and I’ve just been re-listening to it [on audio books] on my iPod and we’ve been sending e-mails back and forth, ‘What about this approach? What do you think of this idea?’ We’re finding the shape of it. We’re moving quickly now, as quickly as we can, and I feel challenged in the most exciting ways.” […]