“Iron Man” director Jon Favreau sure knows how to cut a trailer. Going back to his sneak peek for the first “Iron Man” — which brought down the house at that year’s San Diego Comic-Con — to the debut of the highly anticipated “Cowboys & Aliens” trailer last week, Favreau seems to be an expert at getting fans into a frenzy.
Due in large part to the response from the trailer, and our own excitement for Favreau’s upcoming flick, MTV News caught up with the man himself at his editing bay in Santa Monica, California, for a play-by-play look at his titillating teaser.
“This is new for me,” Favreau said of commenting on his trailer. “I’m already doing a commentary track on a [trailer]. I’m in the middle of [editing] my director’s cut.”
Beginning with the first shot — in which a rough-and-tumble Daniel Craig wakes with a start to discover a mysterious metal band on his arm — Favreau addressed the challenge of melding two genres: Western and sci-fi.
“When you’re doing a mash-up of two genres, if you play with either of them tongue-in-cheek, the combo is not going to be what’s special,” he said. “It allowed us to play Western pretty dead straight.”
Also, that opening shot will likely be the film’s opening sequence too. “It’s the first shot — I’m in my director’s cut, but right now, this is essentially how the movie starts,” Favreau revealed, adding that the credit for that opening goes to executive producer Steven Spielberg. “The writers told me when Spielberg was developing the script, this was one of his big ideas, this [opening] image.”
Another arresting image in the teaser is iconic actor Harrison Ford looking not-so-Harrison-Ford-like but rather grizzly and villainous. Favreau explained that he wants fans to see another side of their favorite actor, with shades of Han Solo and Indiana Jones.
“When Harrison comes into the movie, how do you separate him from everything he’s done? How do you present him in a way that I, as a fan, would want to see him?” Favreau said of the challenge in having Ford portray a seemingly villainous character. “He was always this bastard with a big heart; that’s the archetype I like for him.
“Everybody’s got kind of a rough edge,” Favreau added. “This is a genre film.”
One more aspect to touch on, via hundreds of comments on the Internet, is a certain shot in which fans claimed that they could see a wire pulling an actor into the air; Favreau said that was no accident.
“When you see more about the way the aliens work, there is a device that they abduct people with that that is a practical element of,” he explained. “It’s not a mistake — we didn’t miss the paint-out — but thanks to the people playing at home. If you could catch that, I’m very proud.”
Favreau ended his first trailer play-by-play with a good-natured “thank you” to all the fans.
“We’re working hard. Thanks to all of you for putting wind in our sails,” he said. “I’m glad you liked what we put out there.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Cowboys & Aliens.”