Robert Downey Jr. opts out of 'Cowboys & Aliens' for 'Sherlock Holmes sequel'

Robert Downey Jr. has dropped out of Cowboys & Aliens, the Dreamworks/Universal sci-fi project that would have reunited the actor with his Iron Man director Jon Favreau. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times but only speculated on why Downey had left the project, which pits Old West cowboys and indians against a group of aliens with superior technology. Now, a source inside the production tells that the star has a scheduling conflict with a Sherlock Holmes sequel. That film has not yet been greenlit by Warner Bros., but it is being fast-tracked based on the success of the first film. (Sherlock’s worldwide gross is fast approaching $300 million.) Warner Bros. commissioned a script by Kieran and Michele Mulroney back in September and is now locking down the cast for a June start date, exactly the time when Cowboys & Aliens is set to begin principal photography. Producers behind Cowboys & Aliens are sticking with original plans and are now looking for a new lead to play cowboy Zeke Jackson, the hero of the 2006 graphic novel from Platinum Studios.

Comments (74 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • Ryan

    Well for a while I had been looking forward to Downey in the role but with Sherlock and Iron Man he has created two very distinct characters for franchises. he doesn’t need 3. I’d rather see him do another Sherlock Holmes. I guess Nathan Fillion isn’t a big enough name to replace him huh?

    • Addison

      Ryan!! Nathan Fillion would be an inspired choice!

      • tara

        If you don’t have time to date, then you don’t have time for another someone in your life. That’s what any respectable, stand on her feet, lady would tell you.

        Can I also say – i HATE – message like these in threads.

      • Elisa

        Oh I am in on Fillion

      • KIT

        oh Tara don’t be Bitch. It’s hard to meet someone…

      • lefty


      • castiella

        Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t sound all that great, but if Nate Fillion is in, then so am I!!!

      • catloversmatch

        Good decision

    • Di

      Let’s start the letter writing now. He’s a big enough star with Castle to be able to headline a movie. Plus, we all know how well he pulls off suspenders!

      • Isolde


      • Em

        The only problem with that is with a likely 3rd season of Castle, it would conflict with tis movie’s principal photography. Boo.

      • castiella

        Pardon me while I have a fangirly fit of nostalgia over the idea of seeing Fillion in suspenders again.

    • Sally in Chicago

      Totally agree. Why would he go for a 3rd franchise. I read somewhere that he wants to retire from acting. I can see him doing sequels for about 3-4 movies and then leaving; or doing something more challenging like indie drama. Denzel Washington stated in an interview he wanted to return to the stage. he’s through with making formula movies; and I can see Downey doing the same within 5 years.

      • Mike

        He had been doing Indie drama—people just thought he was gone.

    • Isolde



      Ryan, I guess you’re NOT a big enough name to replace him, huh???
      D U H.

  • Greydon

    Not just suspenders, but we all forget to mention Space and CowboysHe has experience with both!!!

    • Sally in Chicago

      The Cowboys concept sounds stupid…utterly stupid…but the American public will eat up anything that Hollyweird gives it.

      • Kvivik

        Sally, do not trash the concept until you’ve read the original novel (graphic or otherwise).

      • Johnification

        The concept sounds fun and delightfully nostalgiac…with Favreau helming it’ll probably be a fun throwback.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Sounds good, maybe the stupidity is on your end.

  • junierizzle

    Im surprised Sam WOrthington hasn’t been offered the role yet.

    • Celia

      That would be awesome. He’s my new favorite actor. But I don’t know if he has that quirky side, most of the roles he’s done have been kind of serious. He seems more like a new Russell Crowe to me.

    • Mells

      Ooooh, Sam Worthington is so HOT now. I would love to see him in anything. For me its a draw between Sam & Captain Tightpants. I think either one of them would be fantastic as the lead in this.

      Who do we write to? Is there an email address for the studio? We should definitely organize this…

  • MaxwellHouser

    Call your agent Tom Cruise

  • Ted

    Hugh Laurie should be cast as Professor Moriarty!

    • Shahrazad

      That would be Sooooooooooooo Coooooool!!!!

    • Christian

      But Holmes *is* Moriarty. Why would you cast somebody else?

  • robinepowell

    Cowboys and Indians versus Aliens? Pass! I’d much rather see a Sherlock sequel. My dad is a HUGE fan of the character, has read all the books and got me and my mom hooked, on the movies, with Jeremy Brett. ;)

  • JJ

    Jack Nicholson warned you.

  • J.

    Nathan Fillion would be awesome in that role!

  • Iaino

    Maybe Nathan Fillon would be a good replacement for the part, but has anyone considered Ryan Reynolds?

    • Lisa from London

      Yes, please!

      • Ryan

        Ryan Reynolds is already green Lantern and eventually Deadpool again. This would be a franchise. Like Downey, he doesn’t need 3.

        I second the Hugh Laurie for Moriarty decision and so many Americans love House it’d be a casting people would get excited for

      • BlackIrish4094

        Deadpool will not become a franchise, IMO.

    • Pekay

      Either Ryan or Nathan – I would watch them in anything (or in nothing which would be even better!)

      • Whatever

        Hahaha, funny !! XD

      • Lisa from London


  • KGFreeze

    Jeremy Renner baby.

    • Evil Pam

      YES! Jeremy Renner would be awesome. I LOVED him in the Unusuals until it was of course CANCELLED. Though, surely there must be more than ONE cowboy. Nathan and Jeremy and Ryan… Oh MY!

  • CD

    I think the Hugh’s have it. Hugh Laurie as Moriarty would be great. For Cowboys, how about Hugh Jackman for the lead role? He needs another role than Wolverine and he could easily pull it off!

  • T

    Cowboys and Aliens, huh ? Weird and sounds funny….
    Well, for the lead… about Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Christian “3:10 to Yuma” Bale or dare I say long shot, Bruce “Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” Campbell ?

    • David T

      I was think more of Johnny Depp…..his British accent is good, and I think the light touch of camp Ritchie had for the movie would make him a great foil


    i think they should wait for him

    • Angela

      I agree with this. I don’t see what’s the rush.

  • Jimmy

    Personnally I’d love to see Woody Harrelson do Cowboy vs Aliens, he was awesome in Zombieland!

    • Celia

      Woody Harrelson is awesome in everything.

  • Rob Grizzly

    Yeah, better stick with Holmes.

    • Rob Grizzly

      As for Space Cowboys or whatever, Faverau should cast his old Swingers buddy Vince Vaughn in the lead

Page: 1 2 3
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Movies


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP