Where is Cowboys and Aliens Filmed? All the Locations & Sets

The idea of a Western setting with Aliens looks good on paper. Blended with fast action, an exceptional cast, and a decent storyline, one should have a massive blockbuster on hand, right?

But Cowboys and Aliens did not reflect the same way it should have. The big question was how this blend of alien invasion and Western was a flop. It was expected to do big in Hollywood, but it went awry. 

Maybe it lacked the plot and the depth it needed to make it a big success. One thing which was liked by everyone was the preference of filming locations. The locations kept the whole western theme running along with the alien invasions and whole cowboy vibe because they are mostly found in the west. 

If you have not yest seen the movie, you can check it out on Sonyliv. In this article, we’re going to take a look at all the filming locations of Daniel Craig starrer. 

Where was Cowboys And Aliens Filmed?

Northern New Mexico served as the filming location for much of Cowboys and Aliens’ outdoor sequences. Most of the action sequences were filmed along US84 in the scenic Abiquiú and Santa Fe districts.

It’s interesting to note that Ford hadn’t previously filmed in Abiquiú for Cowboys and Aliens; in fact, the fourth Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was also filmed there.

Cowboys and Aliens
Cowboys & Aliens (Credits: Paramount Pictures)

Regarding the run-down Western town “Absolution,” which constituted a significant portion of the film’s drama and action, it was built at Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, a sprawling several thousand acres situated about eight miles south of Santa Fe.

This ranch, like Abiquiú, is a popular location for Hollywood filming. Among the well-known westerns that were filmed here were Ace in the Hole, Anthony Mann’s The Man From Laramie, and John Wayne’s The Cowboys.

How can one visit these places?

As a tourist destination, Abiquiú offers a plethora of activities beyond simply seeing the famous movie site. Apart from visiting the location where Cowboys and Aliens was filmed, Abiquiú offers a plethora of cultural experiences and things to enjoy, including Ghost Towns and museums.

Regretfully, access to Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch is limited to tab users. You’re not going to be able to walk in and take a quick look unless you’re searching for a nice western set.

Cowboys and Aliens
Cowboys & Aliens (Credits: Paramount Pictures)

Cowboys and Aliens was met with a lot of criticism and disdain ten years ago, but looking back at the film or seeing it for the first time in 2021 is now a very terrible idea.

Now, the movie could be entertaining for the public when it isn’t burdened by high expectations and hasn’t got to compete with a tonne of other alien fiction flicks.

This science fiction film may be entertaining to see if you walk in with no expectations of having your mind blown, given the western theme and good acting.

Why second part was not released?

There were big expectations from the first movie, but sadly it did not turn out the way it should have. Speaking on the project’s budget and box office performance, Rosenberg said that the movie would have been a larger smash if it had been made for $60 million less.

Nevertheless, that’s not the reason he believes the movie was never given a sequel; rather, studio politics and maybe a case of having too many cooks in the kitchen are to blame.

Cowboys and Aliens
Cowboys & Aliens (Credits: Paramount Pictures)

A collaboration agreement was negotiated between DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment, which were owned by Paramount and Universal, respectively, because both Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg were linked to the movie but working for different companies.

Throughout the production, the staff and cast made an effort to maintain objectivity, but at worst, the studios continued to try to manipulate one another.

The two sides were unable to collaborate when it came time to plan a sequel. Due to the involvement of several studios, they were unable to devise a solution. They simply couldn’t handle it because it was too sophisticated.


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