Confirmed: Craig Will Replace Downey Jr. In ‘Cowboys and Aliens’

Daniel Craig has closed his deal to star in Cowboys & Aliens, replacing Robert Downey, Jr., who dropped out of the Jon Favreau-directed project earlier this month.

Deadline confirmed the news Thursday that Craig will play lead cowboy Zeke Jackson. Earlier this month, Collider reported – and others confirmed -that Craig was in early-stage talks.

DreamWorks and Universal will put the film into production this year.

The project is written by Roberto OrciAlex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. Kurtzman and Orci are producing with Steven SpielbergRon Howard and Brian Grazer also producing.

As Deadline notes, Craig has put himself in an enviable position: Cowboys and Aliens has franchise potential. And it will keep him busy while the James Bond/MGM situation plays out.