Report: Chris Pratt to Star in ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’ Movie
Chris Pratt starred in the biggest (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and third-biggest (‘The LEGO Movie’) movies of the year. He’s starring in what will surely be one of the biggest movies of next year (‘Jurassic World’). He’s smart, funny, affable and attractive. Your mom loves him. Your grandma loves him. Everyone loves him. He’s got an amazing future in front of him and everyone anxiously awaits word on what his next project will be. Another mega-franchise? A high-profile drama? Wait, what’s that? He’s going to be starring in a movie called ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’? Huh.
Collider is reporting that Pratt will star in an adaptation of the graphic novel ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’ from writer A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. Hot off the ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ genre mashup trend, Disney picked up the rights to the comic and Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (‘Zombieland’) wrote a script. But, then ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ actually hit theaters, people realized it was pretty terrible and Disney quietly let their option expire. Enter, Universal Pictures, who picked up the rights to the project where it lay mostly dormant…until now.
We haven’t heard much heat on this project in recent months (director Marc Forster came and went and no one else is currently attached) until now. What sparked Pratt’s interest—when he could’ve literally done any other movie—is unclear.
Pratt would star as Duncan, a man suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder (the psych majors in the crowd would remind us that this disorder is actually called Dissociative Identity Disorder) recruited by the government for secret ops missions. Dubbed “triplets,” the members of this group are trained to use their different personalities to become lethal assassins. A handful of thee Triplets have gone rogue and it’s up to Duncan, and his identities (a cowboy, a ninja and a viking, DUH) to track them down.
It all seems…fine, but a curious choice for an actor who has his pick of Hollywood projects. Pratt is wrapping up the final season of ‘Parks and Recreation’ and doesn’t begin shooting ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2' until next year, leaving an open spot in his schedule. The question is whether Universal can move swiftly enough to a) polish the script to Pratt’s liking, and b) hire a director so that the project can begin shooting during Pratt’s small window of availability. (An interesting possibility: Pratt recently told GQ that what he really wants to do is direct—”That’s what I’m working toward. I want control. I want control over something.”—and perhaps this is a project he’s setting up to eventually direct himself?)
Because of Pratt’s natural charisma and plain old likability, we’ll follow him on whatever his next project is, even if it’s a movie about a Cowboy Ninja Viking assassin. Pratt helped make Marvel’s most obscure and risky movie the biggest hit of the year. Maybe Pratt is so good, he can elevate even this.