Universal, DreamWorks to adapt graphic novel

DreamWorks and Universal Pictures will join to turn the graphic novelCowboys & Aliens” into a live action feature.

Imagine partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will produce along with Platinum Studios chairman-CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Ervin Rustemagic and Rich Marincic co-produce.

Script will be written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

The graphic novel mixes Western and science fiction genres. Set in 1800s Arizona, a skirmish between cowboys and Apaches is interrupted by the crash landing of a space ship. The alien commander plans to tame the Old West and enslave everyone, but the cowboys and Native Americans turn their six-guns against the alien invaders.

Rosenberg, who ran Malibu Comics when “Men in Black” transferred from graphic novel to hit film, created the concept for “Cowboys & Aliens” and published the graphic novel in 2006.

Several studios have been intrigued by the concept, but the deal was finally pulled together by DreamWorks production president Adam Goodman and U production prexy Donna Langley. The studios have teamed successfully in the past on such pics as “Gladiator” and the Imagine-produced “A Beautiful Mind.”

Kurtzman and Orci scripted the upcoming DreamWorks/Paramount summer film “Transformers.”

Fergus and Hawk Ostby’s recent credits include “Children of Men” and “Iron Man.”

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