The first image of Cowboys and Aliens, Jon Favreau's futuristic answer to the über-successful Avatar, was "tweeted" by Favreau today, and it looks pretty awesome.
The film is described as a 3-D journey into a Southwestern conflict between Arizona settlers, who must resolve their differences when an alien spaceship crash-lands in their city.
Below is the official synopsis:
1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It's a town that lives in fear.
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
Given the film's all-star cast and big-name director, it's likely to be a box-office smash with a pricey production bill. But Arizona won't see a dime of that money because the movie is being filmed in California.
And it's not just another 1070 boycott -- the decision to shoot the film in California was made months before the controversial law was even a bill.
Countless movies (like 3:10 to Yuma, which was filmed in New Mexico) supposedly based in Arizona were filmed elsewhere because other states offer tax incentives for studios to film there.
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When a big studio comes to any town to film a movie, it brings with it hundreds of people who spend money at local businesses. With all the cool stories that Arizona offers the cinematic world, the state is missing out on some serious cash when they film those stories elsewhere.
There have been several efforts to get state government to offer tax incentives comparable to states like California and New Mexico for studios to film movies here -- including one last year that was brushed aside by legislators trying to solve the state's budget crisis.
Mesa is in the process of building a studio capable of producing large-scale movies, but without the necessary tax incentives, the studio could go to waste.