Robert Downey Jr.

Nancy Kaszerman/

Iron Man has saddled up to his next project.

Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to star in Cowboys & Aliens, a Western and sci-fi hybrid flick based on a graphic novel that has been making the Hollywood development rounds for roughly 10 years.

The story revolves around an Old West battle between Apache and a group of settlers, led by a Union Army gunslinger played by Downey, which gets interrupted when a spaceship lands on their Arizona battleground. The cowboys and the natives are then forced to team up to fend off the aliens.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Iron Man and Children of Men writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus penned the winning draft of the flick, which is shaping up to serve as DreamWorks/Universal's tentpole film for summer 2010.

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