Monday, January 10, 2011

True Grit Still Riding High

January 10, 2011

Big weekend. Scott O'Connor and I hosted a party in Phoenix last night for Austin folksinger Slaid Cleaves. 106 of our closest friends feasted on roasted pig and great tunes by Mr. Cleaves.

True Grit continues to ride high, holding down the number one spot last weekend, pulling in another $15 million, putting it at $110.4 million, the first Western to go over $100 mil since Dances With Wolves way back in the 1990s. Great news for all of us.

The next big Western in the pipeline comes out this summer: Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and it stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, along with Sam Rockwell, Keith Carradine, Buck Taylor and Adam Beach. Both True Grit and Cowboys & Aliens share the same executive producer— Steven Spielberg. Hmmmmmm.

It's being billed as Star Wars meets the Magnificent Seven. The cowboys and In-dins of Silver City, Arizona (ironically there is no Silver City in Arizona, but the movie was filmed in New Mexico which does have a Silver City), put aside their differences to battle illegal aliens, I mean space aliens. A space craft crashes into the town. The movie has a huge budget (I want to say $130 million) and some pretty spectacular special effects, however, the previews, shown last month in some areas produced unwanted laughs. Not sure why. I saw the trailer and thought it looked okay (hated Daniel Craig's fedora), but I didn't think it was off-putting goofy. Evidently, some cutting is going on back at the lab, but probably on more than just the trailer. I can guarantee that someone at Universal is nervous. Ha.

This project is quite interesting to me because the entire premise was based on a concept, spec drawing by a cartoonist of a cowboy riding along with a big spaceship over his head, with the title Cowboys & Aliens as the mash-up title. The concept drawing resulted in a $500,000 movie deal. Hmmmmmm.

Worked this weekend on a variety of Mickey Free scenes, inlcuding this one of the Mickster riding through the fires of hell (actually Chihuahua, Mexico):

If only, I had put a spaceship in the background. Although, I do see a bit of a space alien in that smoke.

"It's very Baptist. If you're going to give up sin, you got to sin."
—Dawn Rizos, explaining the inordinate amount of strip clubs in Dallas in the New York Times

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