Jon Favreau’s ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Draws Heavily From Steven Spielberg

Cowboys & Aliens” might have Jon Favreau’s name on the billing as director, but the movie certainly has other strong filmmaker’s influences on it as well.

When MTV News caught up with Favreau at the “Cowboys & Aliens” junket in Montana, he said that he gained a lot of the inspiration for the creatures in the movie from the alien films he loved as a kid. So if you see some “Alien,” “Aliens” and “Predator” references in the creature design, then don’t be alarmed.

All the effort was spent in the attempt to not make “Cowboys & Aliens” feel like a one-joke movie. Favreau said he wanted to make sure that the approach they took on the flick worked for its entirety, which meant figuring out what type of alien movie they wanted to make and what type of cowboy movie.

It helped that Steven Spielberg was a part of the filmmaking process as well, because Favreau said he used a lot of the camera and shooting techniques the “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” director did in his alien movies to help make “Cowboys & Aliens” as thrilling as possible.

“He was very involved with certain aspects of it in pre-production, and one of those aspects was the alien design because he’d been involved with so many. And now seeing ’Falling Skies’ and seeing ’Super 8,’ I see that he was really not just involved with his own films but other films and projects that he’s been producing and overseeing,” Favreau said. “So he had a lot of specific insight into what things were important.”

In addition to Spielberg, director Guillermo del Toro spent a good deal of time with Favreau in the editing room and helping him work on their alien animatronics. Del Toro’s advice for Favreau was “to get the silhouette right first, then you’ve got to get the color right, then you’ve got to get the detail right, in that order.”

“When I knew that it passed his muster, I felt very good,” Favreau said.

Is “Cowboys & Aliens” a movie you’re looking forward to? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!