The title already reveals what “Cowboy & Aliens” by “Mandalorian” mastermind Jon Favreau is about: It’s about aliens – and about cowboys. And cowboys are traditionally expected to be incredibly good riders. So advanced skills on horseback were a requirement to get a lead role.
The fairly inexperienced Daniel Craig, who sits behind the wheel rather than in the saddle in his “James Bond” films, had to fib to get the part. Craig simply claimed he was a good horseman when that wasn’t true.
In interviews for “Cowboy & Aliens,” Craig said that in his previous films that asked for horseback riding experience, it was always enough to just cheat – and then somehow stay in the saddle. Usually there was hardly any money to shoot a lot of scenes with horses.
With “Cowboys & Aliens” it fell on his feet, because in the sci-fi actioner really strong skills in the saddle were required. So once Craig got the part, he really had to push hard to learn to ride – and at least he can now. He rode every day for two weeks before the start of filming, and he also regularly got into the saddle during the filming itself.
If you want to watch the sci-fi adventure independently of the TV program, you can of course also put “Cowboys & Aliens” on the shelf on Blu-ray or DVD.
›› “Cowboys & Aliens” at Amazon*
Was it worth it for Daniel Craig that he wanted the part so badly? Let’s put it this way: he could have saved himself the white lie. The $163 million fusion of science fiction and western grossed just $174 million at the box office—that’s just the cost of production, and that’s not even counting marketing!
And “Cowboys & Aliens” doesn’t convince in terms of quality either, it’s mediocre at best. The story about a cattle baron (Ford) and a rapacious cowboy (Craig), who have to join forces in the Wild West to ward off an alien attack, is well staged by Jon Favreau. But the actually promising genre mix does not really ignite and often remains strangely without tension:
*The link to the Amazon offer is a so-called affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we will receive a commission.
This is a re-release of an article previously published on DashFUN.