Director Jon Favreau couldn’t get his Iron Man 2 star Robert Downey Jr. to join him for Cowboys & Aliens so he got the next best thing, Sam Rockwell. The actor is the latest addition to the sci-fi western that also stars Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Noah Ringer, and Harrison Ford. We guess it pays to have friends in high places.

The story for Cowboys & Aliens centers on outer-space creatures who land in Arizona circa the mid-19th century intent on enslaving the local population — until a group of cowboys and Apache Indians fight back. Craig will play Zeke Jackson, the revolt leader and a very talented gunman, while Rockwell will star as “a bar owner named Doc who joins in the pursuit of the aliens.”

When the writers and director initially created Doc the role was a lot smaller and the actor was supposed to be a lot bigger. But once they heard that Rockwell was interested in the film they expanded the character just for him. Even though we’re still slightly bitter that Downey decided to do Sherlock Holmes 2 as opposed to this, the cast is shaping up quite nicely. We wonder who else they’ll get for this thing.

Production on Cowboys & Aliens is slated to begin this summer in July. The film will be released nationwide on July 29, 2011.

What do you think of Sam Rockwell’s addition to Cowboys & Aliens?

Source: THR