Robert Downey, Jr.'s busy schedule could be Daniel Craig's gain.  Downey, Jr. was attached to star in DreamWorks' new adventure "Cowboys and Aliens," but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.  Now, Craig is in talks to play the hero in Jon Favreau's Sci-Fi Western.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the event flick examines what happens when cowboys and Native Americans team up after the Old West is attacked by aliens. The trade reports a gunslinger named Jake (Craig) leads the human revolt against the invaders, but it's unclear whether he'll be American or, um, a random Brit hanging out in the U.S. territories.

While it's good news the DreamWorks flick is moving forward, the more intriguing part of this story is where does it leave the next James Bond?

DreamWorks wants to shoot "Cowboys" this year for a 2011 release, that means at a minimum production will stretch into this fall when Bond was expected to be shooting.  Now, MGM is waiting on either new ownership or investment before greenlighting the currently untitled 23rd James Bond movie, but the studio has a Nov. 18, 2011 release date on the books (at least to save the date).  If that date holds, it would mean Bond would need to be shooting a year from now.  Having visited the set of "Quantum of Solace," Craig made it clear at the time he wasn't thrilled that flick had such a quick shooting schedule before release (production ended in June only four months before opening).  Considering the mixed results on that one compared to the beloved "Casino Royale," might the studio and EON productions move Bond 23 to Summer 2012?  Never say never.

Additionally, it's hard to imagine "Cowboys" being ready to go before mid-summer at the earliest considering Favreau has a little movie called "Iron Man 2" he'll be working on until it's May 7 opening.

As for Downey, Jr. don't be sad for him.  Word has it he had to drop out to shoot a sequel for "Sherlock Holmes" that could be ready as soon as Christmas 2011.