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Cowboys & Aliens ain't gonna be no comedy, pardner

Nov. 30, 2010by: Dave Davis

The teaser trailer for COWBOYS & ALIENS sure gave the impression of a straight Leone-inspired Western setting with some science fiction elements introduced into it, which director Jon Favreau has stated is his intent.

But that hokey (if succinct) title may be confusing some general audiences, who seem to be expecting something more of a MEN IN BLACK style tongue-in-cheek genre mashup. Recent viewers of the trailer in theaters reportedly anticipated something "hilarious" but thought the tone of the clip was "too serious," according to the NY Times.

Although movies with a balance of action and comedic moments (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, SHERLOCK HOLMES, Favreau's IRON MAN) have been massive successes, Universal's marketing human Eddie Egan isn't concerned that COWBOYS & ALIENS wants to be more like UNFORGIVEN with malevolent extraterrestrials: "The trailer is the first very public step in reconciling the tone of the movie with the more immediate effect of the title on its own."

What do you think? Is the title (and comic book origins) a potential detriment? Do Favreau and the studio have hard work ahead to convince audiences of the serious tone? Has anyone seen or heard giggle reactions to the trailer in theaters?

Extra Tidbit: And perhaps more importantly: what will the Asylum "mockbuster" be called?
Source: NY Times

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2:58AM on 01/05/2011
sweet
sweet
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3:48AM on 12/02/2010
I got two words for ya. Independence Day.
I got two words for ya. Independence Day.
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7:59PM on 12/01/2010
I seen the trailer during opening night at Harry Potter and everyone in the audience (who clearly had never heard of the movie) burst out laughing at the end of the trailer when the title comes on screen.
I seen the trailer during opening night at Harry Potter and everyone in the audience (who clearly had never heard of the movie) burst out laughing at the end of the trailer when the title comes on screen.
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6:16PM on 12/01/2010

Extra Tidbit: Mockbuster

Probably "Cowboys VS Aliens", seeing as how half of the noobs walking around are already referring to this one as, instead of its proper moniker, "Cowboys & Aliens".
Probably "Cowboys VS Aliens", seeing as how half of the noobs walking around are already referring to this one as, instead of its proper moniker, "Cowboys & Aliens".
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5:29PM on 12/01/2010
I read another version of this screenplay a few years ago (the one with Everett) and it was pretty good. It had the right amount of drama, action, adventure and tongue in cheek comedy. Unfortunately, the trailer they put out (which I loved) does contradict the very tongue in cheek title for the film. The trailer very much looks like a supernatural horror film and the title very much says popcorn summer movie. They have a bit of a hurdle in front of them.
But I'm stoked to see this!
I read another version of this screenplay a few years ago (the one with Everett) and it was pretty good. It had the right amount of drama, action, adventure and tongue in cheek comedy. Unfortunately, the trailer they put out (which I loved) does contradict the very tongue in cheek title for the film. The trailer very much looks like a supernatural horror film and the title very much says popcorn summer movie. They have a bit of a hurdle in front of them.
But I'm stoked to see this!
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4:34PM on 12/01/2010
I saw the trailer at the beginning of Harry Potter and the whole theater was silent until the title popped up and the whole crowd laughed.
I saw the trailer at the beginning of Harry Potter and the whole theater was silent until the title popped up and the whole crowd laughed.
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3:35PM on 12/01/2010
I'm sure the movie will be good but why would you call it Cowboys and Aliens if it has barely anything to do with the comic and it sends the wrong message?Just change the name to something more suitable.

To the people below, seriously, you didn't think this movie would be comedic based on the title? The only reason the comic had it was because it was very tongue in cheek. To keep the title but not keep the comedic tone is just a bad movie. Although you can say that people in the audience
I'm sure the movie will be good but why would you call it Cowboys and Aliens if it has barely anything to do with the comic and it sends the wrong message?Just change the name to something more suitable.

To the people below, seriously, you didn't think this movie would be comedic based on the title? The only reason the comic had it was because it was very tongue in cheek. To keep the title but not keep the comedic tone is just a bad movie. Although you can say that people in the audience are stupid for laughing, they're also the one's buying tickets. Then again, everybody laughed at Avatar's trailer and we saw how that turned out so what do I know?
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2:32PM on 12/01/2010
When the trailer was shown before HP7 and the title came up, people were laughing. I heard some saying, "That looks so stupid." *sigh*
When the trailer was shown before HP7 and the title came up, people were laughing. I heard some saying, "That looks so stupid." *sigh*
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+1
1:39PM on 12/01/2010

good

I hope it is serious, Im sick of all these MIB copiers, it was like Spiderman eveytime I watch it I think of MIB, bc the music is the smae and the 2 directors were good friends.
I hope it is serious, Im sick of all these MIB copiers, it was like Spiderman eveytime I watch it I think of MIB, bc the music is the smae and the 2 directors were good friends.
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8:22AM on 12/01/2010
Extra tidbit: I have two - Cowboy vs. Alien (Notice: it's in Singular) and Gunmen vs. Martians.
Extra tidbit: I have two - Cowboy vs. Alien (Notice: it's in Singular) and Gunmen vs. Martians.
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7:55AM on 12/01/2010
I've always liked the title, because of the obvious wordplay. But I guess some people dislike it for the very same reason?

I never got the impression that the film might be humorous from the title.
I've always liked the title, because of the obvious wordplay. But I guess some people dislike it for the very same reason?

I never got the impression that the film might be humorous from the title.
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5:35AM on 12/01/2010
The title is great. Who gives a shit if some 15-year-old girl from Minnesota thinks it's a comedy?
The title is great. Who gives a shit if some 15-year-old girl from Minnesota thinks it's a comedy?
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+3
4:26AM on 12/01/2010
I never thought it was going to be anything of a comedy? Or have any comedic aspects... I don't know why I just always thought that it was going to be more of a straight laced Western?
I never thought it was going to be anything of a comedy? Or have any comedic aspects... I don't know why I just always thought that it was going to be more of a straight laced Western?
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3:21AM on 12/01/2010
Maybe you guys are right. Maybe the title doesn't work...

I got it.

Aliens and Cowboys.
Maybe you guys are right. Maybe the title doesn't work...

I got it.

Aliens and Cowboys.
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+4
12:34AM on 12/01/2010
I think the title itself makes one think that this movie isn't going to take itself too seriously. I don't know what they should call it, but Cowboys and Aliens is the farthest thing from the title of a serious movie that I can think of.
I think the title itself makes one think that this movie isn't going to take itself too seriously. I don't know what they should call it, but Cowboys and Aliens is the farthest thing from the title of a serious movie that I can think of.
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12:26AM on 12/01/2010
Cowboy's Redemption, maybe? u_u

(Sorry for the Red Dead nod but think about it, they are redeeming themselves to succeed over the extraterrestrials)
Cowboy's Redemption, maybe? u_u

(Sorry for the Red Dead nod but think about it, they are redeeming themselves to succeed over the extraterrestrials)
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12:28AM on 12/01/2010
other titles:

A stranger in the west?
The West?

..
other titles:

A stranger in the west?
The West?

..
1:09AM on 12/01/2010
Cowboys & Aliens & Zombies?

I'm sure The Asylum would throw some dumb shit like that in.
Cowboys & Aliens & Zombies?

I'm sure The Asylum would throw some dumb shit like that in.
12:22AM on 12/01/2010
I honestly think the movie looks amazing, but truthfully, I always cringe when the title comes up. Don't minus me too hard, but the title feels very Disney to me. I would expect a CGI kids movie if I just saw the title in the newspaper.
I honestly think the movie looks amazing, but truthfully, I always cringe when the title comes up. Don't minus me too hard, but the title feels very Disney to me. I would expect a CGI kids movie if I just saw the title in the newspaper.
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12:22AM on 12/01/2010
Gonna be a fun time at the Drive -In (most likely) for me, the night they play this one.
Gonna be a fun time at the Drive -In (most likely) for me, the night they play this one.
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+7
12:19AM on 12/01/2010
The title vs the tone seems to be mismatched. But if it's a good movie that won't really matter once positive word of mouth gets around.
The title vs the tone seems to be mismatched. But if it's a good movie that won't really matter once positive word of mouth gets around.
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12:05AM on 12/01/2010
I agree this looks awesome, but my entire theater broke into laughter once the title came on the screen.
I agree this looks awesome, but my entire theater broke into laughter once the title came on the screen.
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12:20AM on 12/01/2010
One of two reasons for this odd phenomenon -1. they (the audience) were all high? or 2. They are subconsciously afraid this may actually happen,in our time of course. ; )
One of two reasons for this odd phenomenon -1. they (the audience) were all high? or 2. They are subconsciously afraid this may actually happen,in our time of course. ; )
8:27AM on 12/01/2010
My theater did as well. I was a little confused at first, but then I remembered that I laughed the first time I saw it too.
My theater did as well. I was a little confused at first, but then I remembered that I laughed the first time I saw it too.
11:42PM on 11/30/2010
Trailer was awesome and the movie is going to kick ass. Can't wait for Rockwell in this.
Trailer was awesome and the movie is going to kick ass. Can't wait for Rockwell in this.
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11:12PM on 11/30/2010
I dont fucking care what these dumb teens say about the movie. It looks fucking awesome and a BILLION times better than that SHIT twilight.
I dont fucking care what these dumb teens say about the movie. It looks fucking awesome and a BILLION times better than that SHIT twilight.
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11:09PM on 11/30/2010
This is my most anticipated movie of next summer, in part because of the serious tone. While there's always room for a "Maverick" or a "Blazing Saddles," I much prefer when the west is gritty and unforgiving.

Besides, with Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg producing (and a little Spielberg-Ford reunion in that) on top of Favreau being quite possibly the best new director of popcorn fun (I didn't see Iron Man 2), I can let the hokey title slide. Really, the title had me worried, but not anymore.
This is my most anticipated movie of next summer, in part because of the serious tone. While there's always room for a "Maverick" or a "Blazing Saddles," I much prefer when the west is gritty and unforgiving.

Besides, with Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg producing (and a little Spielberg-Ford reunion in that) on top of Favreau being quite possibly the best new director of popcorn fun (I didn't see Iron Man 2), I can let the hokey title slide. Really, the title had me worried, but not anymore.
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10:28PM on 11/30/2010
This movie looks good but yes, the title does make it look like it shares MIB's tone and comedic relief. The trailer didn't work for me because that's what I was expecting, and then it came out all dry and serious...got me a lil' confused, but looks cool nonetheless.
This movie looks good but yes, the title does make it look like it shares MIB's tone and comedic relief. The trailer didn't work for me because that's what I was expecting, and then it came out all dry and serious...got me a lil' confused, but looks cool nonetheless.
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10:25PM on 11/30/2010

Stupid Sheeple

Doofuses U.S.A. better not screw up this film because they made the studio panic.
Doofuses U.S.A. better not screw up this film because they made the studio panic.
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10:25PM on 11/30/2010
I want one of those Pip-boy 1000s.
I want one of those Pip-boy 1000s.
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10:24PM on 11/30/2010
i heard giggles in the theater... from dumbass 15 year old girls.

This movie will rock for people without tiny brains.
i heard giggles in the theater... from dumbass 15 year old girls.

This movie will rock for people without tiny brains.
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1:24AM on 12/01/2010
The Green Lantern trailer also played and those same girls said, "ugh more aliens?..."

i was about to choke a bitch
The Green Lantern trailer also played and those same girls said, "ugh more aliens?..."

i was about to choke a bitch
4:52AM on 12/01/2010
Isn't Justin Bieber an alien? Hmmm...
Isn't Justin Bieber an alien? Hmmm...
+7
10:23PM on 11/30/2010
Universal has nothing to be worried about. If this movie is good, it will get it's audience. Yeah the title does sound kind of 'MIBish', but for anyone who sees the trailer will get it.
Universal has nothing to be worried about. If this movie is good, it will get it's audience. Yeah the title does sound kind of 'MIBish', but for anyone who sees the trailer will get it.
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