Downey Jr departs Cowboys & Aliens

Despite best mate Jon Favreau lensing the flick, Robert Downey Jr has been forced to surrender his role in the in-development Cowboys & Aliens film.

Citing an over-packed work schedule for the actor's departure, the LA Times reports that Favreau is still going ahead with the project and is seeking a new leading man to fill the boots of gunslinger Zeke Jackson.

Set to shoot sometime later this year, the project is lined up for release in summer 2011. The original graphic novels saw Jackson leading an anti-alien revolt when a spacecraft lands in Arizona in the mid-19th century.

As the aliens set about attempting to enslave the human population, a collection of cowboys and Indians fight back in typically gun-toting, war-cry warbling fashion.

Sadly, it sort of makes sense for Downey Jr not to take on another potential franchise starter, what with Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes ticking over nicely - and with no end in sight. Still, it’s a shame that we won’t get to see him getting his Wild West on against alienkind.

Who do you want to see yee-hawwwing it up as Zeke Jackson? Chuck us some comments below.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.