With Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt became a household name. With Guardians of the Galaxy, he became a worldwide superstar. But I’m not sure his oddball next feature will raise the bar any higher, as he is reportedly set to take the lead in the fun and surreal comic book adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking, which Universal is undoubtedly going to drop a bundle on. Are you ready to see Star-Lord wearing a cowboy hat and kicking the shit out of people? I thought so.
Cowboy Ninja Viking, written by A.J. Lieberman and illustrated by Riley Rossmo, debuted in 2009 and lasted for 10 issues. It centers on the exploits of Dr. Sebastian Ghislain and his squad of counter-intelligence agents, all of whom are “suffering” from Multiple Personality Disorder. Each agent is given three distinct personas to help them on their tasks, which leads to their nickname of triplets. Of course, all good intentions inevitably become deadly in the comic book world, and when Ghislain’s program falls apart, several of his most dangerous patients head out into the world as contract killers.
Enter Duncan, the cowboy-ninja-viking triplet that Pratt would be playing if he takes the job. (The news comes from Collider, so it’s not exactly set in stone yet.) Duncan is the most badass of the badass, and he’s sent out to try and stop the more ruthless assassins from destroying things. Lieberman and Rossmo had a hell of a time putting these characters together, as there are people with distinct descriptions such as “Sniper-Archer-Clothing Designer,” “Mad Scientist-Napoleonic Genera-Spanish Cavalier,” and “Sniper-Chef-Martial Artist,” to name but a few.
Cowboy Ninja Viking has been on the road to a big-screen feature for quite a while now, but Pratt’s involvement would be the best news the project has had. When the project was first acquired by Disney, they tapped Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to adapt the comics, but their version was too adult for the wholesome studio. When the rights switched to Universal, they brought in World War Z director Marc Forster to direct, but he apparently left the project. (What’s the deal with getting zombie movie people for this flick?)
If Pratt is indeed starring, that will likely attract more big names to the director’s chair. In the last year and a half, he’s worked with James Gunn, Colin Treverrow, and the Lego Movie‘s Phil Lord and Chris Miller. This seems like something Patrick Hughes (Expendables 3) would be comfortable with.
It’s unclear when production for this movie would start. We all know Pratt is once again donning the Star-Lord mask for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but now we need to know when he’ll be strapping on the cowboy hat.