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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Caption: Advanced tech meets the Old West in Daniel Craig's Cowboys & Aliens
There’s a great article that asks “With the huge success of the Coen Brother's True Grit, multiple video game of the year victor Red Dead Redemption and this summer's Cowboys and Aliens - are Westerns back?”
The article goes on to say, “One of this summer's biggest blockbusters is set to be Cowboys & Aliens, a mix of Sci-fi and Western genres based on a cult graphic novel. Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, the hugely-budgeted epic is under the stewardship of Iron Man director Jon Favreau.”
Though high concept Westerns (Wild Wild West, Jonah Hex) may not have done too well in recent years, Joss Whedon’s space Western, Firefly was made into a film because of fan support—unprecedented in Hollywood history. In 2009, seven years after the series initially aired, Firefly won the 1st annual Hulu award for "Shows we'd bring back".
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There’s also the growing love for the Steampunk genre, which embraces the time where steam power was still widely used—Victorian & Edwardian era Britain and the Wild West and Civil War in America—then incorporates elements of science fiction and fantasy. Google searches for the term “Steampunk” have gone up steadily since 2006.
The article closes by saying, “If True Grit and Red Dead can teach us anything, it's that artists should embrace the Western's familiar tropes yet not feel burdened by them... if studios are willing to remake and reboot previously untouchable, lauded originals, take left turns with established mechanics or say 'Why the hell not?!' and insert aliens into the Old West for the fun of it, we may find that this is one genre whose ability to corral audiences hasn't fully diminished.”
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