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Brian Grazer regrets producing Cowboys & Aliens

07.06.2015

Most of the time, folks in Hollywood defend their films, even when they are critical and commercial failures. Johnny Depp defended both TRANSCENDENCE and THE LONE RANGER while Taylor Kitsch has defended JOHN CARTER. Sometimes these movies enter and exit the zeitgeist and you don't give them a second thought until someone chimes in with their opinion. Producer Brian Grazer has done that with his 2011 flop COWBOYS & ALIENS.

On paper, a Sci-fi Western starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde from the director of IRON MAN seems like a sure thing. Add in a couple of huge producers in Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard and you have the makings of a surefire hit. Well, that didn't happen with COWBOYS & ALIENS and now Grazer has shed some insight with The Atlantic as to where he should have reconsidered his involvement.

“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.

While Grazer's involvement was less creative and more financial, the man has often made good decisions rather than bad. His long relationship with Ron Howard has been very fruitful and I think I probably would have ponied up for this movie based on the talent involved alone. But, there is a lesson to be learned here.

“Every once in a while I rationalize quality,” he continued. “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!"

While I didn't think COWBOYS & ALIENS was all that awful, I know I am in the minority. It also is nice to hear someone who pulls some strings in Hollywood saying they prefer quality over bottom line profits. Here's hoping that speaks to his future endeavors.

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Source: The Atlantic

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-1
3:24PM on 07/07/2015
I regret watching this movie. So boring.
I regret watching this movie. So boring.
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6:35AM on 07/07/2015

Look...

The movie bombed, because they basically took the comic book rights, only kept the title, while writing their own story, which was shit, to say the least. Why they did this is beyond me. The should have sticked to the comic, because it had a great story, and I very much recommend it.
The movie bombed, because they basically took the comic book rights, only kept the title, while writing their own story, which was shit, to say the least. Why they did this is beyond me. The should have sticked to the comic, because it had a great story, and I very much recommend it.
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+1
6:19AM on 07/07/2015

I enjoyed Cowboys and Aliens...

Sure, it's not everything it could have been but it's not terrible. This guy is making a jackass out of himself by saying, "we're not really going to call it that?" - dude, what did you sign up for? I mean, I'll give him credit he admits he signed up for "star power" (which is kind of retarded in itself since these days, there is no such thing) and the money, but still. Oh and Maidy? Taylor Kitsch has every right to defend John Carter. That was a good movie.
Sure, it's not everything it could have been but it's not terrible. This guy is making a jackass out of himself by saying, "we're not really going to call it that?" - dude, what did you sign up for? I mean, I'll give him credit he admits he signed up for "star power" (which is kind of retarded in itself since these days, there is no such thing) and the money, but still. Oh and Maidy? Taylor Kitsch has every right to defend John Carter. That was a good movie.
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+3
4:48AM on 07/07/2015
While the Depp movies did nothing for me, I enjoyed the heck out of John Carter and Cowboys & Aliens. It sucks that they were flops.
While the Depp movies did nothing for me, I enjoyed the heck out of John Carter and Cowboys & Aliens. It sucks that they were flops.
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9:39PM on 07/06/2015

Really, Cowboys and Aliens is the one he is going to piss on?

It was nowhere near as bad as reviews suggested. Sure more could have been done with the concept (hell maybe it was partially Grazer's fault) but it was fun action western that happened to have aliens in it. I could think of other movie Grazer should be regret producing: Psycho remake, either of the Dan Brown adaptions, J. Edgar, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the Nutty Professor II.
It was nowhere near as bad as reviews suggested. Sure more could have been done with the concept (hell maybe it was partially Grazer's fault) but it was fun action western that happened to have aliens in it. I could think of other movie Grazer should be regret producing: Psycho remake, either of the Dan Brown adaptions, J. Edgar, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the Nutty Professor II.
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8:47PM on 07/06/2015
As a producer, he's certainly entitled to his opinion. I liked the movie, but I also liked Battleship, John Carter, Lone Ranger and Lost In Space, so there's that.
As a producer, he's certainly entitled to his opinion. I liked the movie, but I also liked Battleship, John Carter, Lone Ranger and Lost In Space, so there's that.
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8:35PM on 07/06/2015
I thought it was one of the best blockbusters of the summer that year. Goofy fun movie, the title tells you 100% what to expect. If anything I would compare it to Pacific Rim, fun, lots of CGI and probably took itself a little to serious.
I thought it was one of the best blockbusters of the summer that year. Goofy fun movie, the title tells you 100% what to expect. If anything I would compare it to Pacific Rim, fun, lots of CGI and probably took itself a little to serious.
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7:50PM on 07/06/2015
It was enjoyable to an extent. Now John Carter.....that film didn't deserve to bomb the way it did.
It was enjoyable to an extent. Now John Carter.....that film didn't deserve to bomb the way it did.
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7:45PM on 07/06/2015
I actually thought the title was the best thing about the movie
I actually thought the title was the best thing about the movie
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6:19PM on 07/06/2015

This is the most positive I've seen people be about this movie.

I never actually watched Cowboys and Aliens. I had every intention of doing it when it was in theaters. Well, before it was in theaters. When it came out I gathered it wasn't good enough for my money. But in the intervening years, I've been shocked a lot of people hate that movie. Like, physically.

How does something with so many big, talented names on it turn into something that bad? Someday I intend to actually sit down and watch the thing. Just gotta clear some time in my schedule first.
I never actually watched Cowboys and Aliens. I had every intention of doing it when it was in theaters. Well, before it was in theaters. When it came out I gathered it wasn't good enough for my money. But in the intervening years, I've been shocked a lot of people hate that movie. Like, physically.

How does something with so many big, talented names on it turn into something that bad? Someday I intend to actually sit down and watch the thing. Just gotta clear some time in my schedule first.
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6:07PM on 07/06/2015
Cowboys & Aliens was fine film, as was John Carter of Mars.

I suspect both will find their audience in time, much in the same way that Blade Runner and The Thing did long after their release.

Hell, only recently has Big Trouble in Little China been finding an audience.
Cowboys & Aliens was fine film, as was John Carter of Mars.

I suspect both will find their audience in time, much in the same way that Blade Runner and The Thing did long after their release.

Hell, only recently has Big Trouble in Little China been finding an audience.
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5:52PM on 07/06/2015
Meh I still liked it, a lil goofy but still watchable.
Meh I still liked it, a lil goofy but still watchable.
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5:51PM on 07/06/2015
I didn't think Cowboys and Aliens was all that bad. I didn't love it, but I've definitely seen way worse. Needed some work, but it's rainy Sunday fodder at worst. Not a film I'd be embarrassed about being a part of just because it didn't do well in the box office.
I didn't think Cowboys and Aliens was all that bad. I didn't love it, but I've definitely seen way worse. Needed some work, but it's rainy Sunday fodder at worst. Not a film I'd be embarrassed about being a part of just because it didn't do well in the box office.
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4:10PM on 07/06/2015

This is just a higher profile Snakes On A Plane

I wouldn't call it a bad movie or a true bomb, just forgettable with a more intriguing premise/title than an execution. It's like a higher profile "Snakes on a Plane"...the ridiculous title/premise was the main selling point, but once you're in the movie and see it takes itself seriously, the joke of the concept deflates and we were left with ho-hum movie going experiences, the marketing juggernaut of the goofy overtly literal titles aside.
I wouldn't call it a bad movie or a true bomb, just forgettable with a more intriguing premise/title than an execution. It's like a higher profile "Snakes on a Plane"...the ridiculous title/premise was the main selling point, but once you're in the movie and see it takes itself seriously, the joke of the concept deflates and we were left with ho-hum movie going experiences, the marketing juggernaut of the goofy overtly literal titles aside.
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4:02PM on 07/06/2015
While the movie did not completely work, I don't know if I would have been able to tell what didn't during the decision making process. And I definitely wouldn't have been able to tell it if I had been someone who didn't like either cowboys or aliens...
While the movie did not completely work, I don't know if I would have been able to tell what didn't during the decision making process. And I definitely wouldn't have been able to tell it if I had been someone who didn't like either cowboys or aliens...
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-3
4:00PM on 07/06/2015

What a coincidence: I regret watching it.

While I think it's one of the worst movies of all time, I don't entirely agree with Brian about the title (and therefore, the premise). The movie could've been good if it had been a tongue-in-cheek comedy rather than something so serious.
While I think it's one of the worst movies of all time, I don't entirely agree with Brian about the title (and therefore, the premise). The movie could've been good if it had been a tongue-in-cheek comedy rather than something so serious.
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