Did Steven Spielberg’s Creative Input Change Cowboys and Aliens’ Primary Antagonist?

Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the creator of “Cowboys & Aliens,” recently shed light on the making of the 2011 film adaptation of his graphic novel, starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. In discussing the film’s creation, Rosenberg disclosed how Steven Spielberg’s advice played a pivotal role in shaping the prime antagonist, the über-alien, and teased the expansion of the “Cowboys & Aliens” universe through a prequel novel.

“Cowboys & Aliens” chronicles the journey of Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) and Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) as they confront an alien invasion. As the aliens wreak havoc, Jake and Woodrow unite with the natives to thwart these hostile beings.


Rosenberg shared insights into the design of the film’s main antagonist, the über-alien, revealing Spielberg’s creative input. Under Spielberg’s guidance, the character underwent revisions to enhance its menacing presence, with distinctive translucent patches on its body. Describing Spielberg’s vision, Rosenberg explained that the über-alien was crafted to be anthropomorphic, with a translucent skin resembling that of a soft-shell crab. Spielberg’s suggestions reflected his keen understanding of audience preferences, according to Rosenberg.

In addition to discussing the film, Rosenberg unveiled plans for an upcoming prequel novel, “Cowboys & Aliens: Civil War,” set to release in the summer of 2024. The novel explores a storyline where enslaved worker aliens instigate a civil war aboard their ship, leading to a crash landing on Earth and seeking aid from its inhabitants against the forces of Rado Dar.

Expressing his aspirations for the franchise’s future, Rosenberg expressed interest in rebooting “Cowboys & Aliens” as a TV or film adaptation. He envisioned a fast-paced narrative with increased humor and genuine suspense, set a few years before the invasion, to captivate audiences.

Rosenberg conveyed his gratitude to fans for their continued support, noting the film’s enduring popularity and the influx of messages received through the “Cowboys & Aliens” Facebook page.

With plans for the prequel novel underway and the 2011 film available for streaming on Peacock, Rosenberg’s enthusiasm for revisiting the epic tale of “Cowboys & Aliens” is palpable, promising exciting developments for fans of the franchise.