Friday, 5 December 2014

Chris Pratt set for Cowboy Ninja Viking

After a breakout, blockbuster genre franchise hit, some actors like to retreat to the safety – and credibility – of a gritty low budget indie drama or two. Not so for Chris Pratt. Still a star of Parks And Recreation, he managed to find time to follow Guardians Of The Galaxy with a little thing called Jurassic World, and has now chosen his next role in another nascent comic book franchise. News arrives via Collider that he is set to star as lead assassin Duncan in Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Created by writer A. J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo, Cowboy Ninja Viking is an Image Comics series about secret counter-intelligence agents with multiple personality disorders. Various suitable candidates for the 'Triplet' programme were brought together by psychotherapist Dr. Sebastian Ghislain, but when the project collapsed, the subjects went their own ways as hired assassins.

Pratt's Duncan then, just to be clear, will not be an actual Cowboy Ninja Viking – those are the personality types that have been corralled in his mind for maximum effectiveness. Other characters we encounter in the comic series include Duncan's brother Carl (Staff Sergeant - Apache - Highlander), Steed Malbranque (Hitman - Navy SEAL - Dokken roadie), Lara St. Britt (Air Hostess -Joan Of Arc - Amazon), and Grear Fulkirk (Sniper - Chef - Martial Artist).

Universal Pictures have been developing the movie for some time. The comics were first published in 2009 and as early as 2010 Walt Disney Pictures had the Zombieland (2009) team of Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese working on an adaptation. That version went into turnaround in 2012, and Universal picked it up when Disney dropped it, choosing Marc Forster (World War Z) to direct.

Forster is no longer attached, meaning the director's chair is currently vacant. Craig Mazin (The Hangover) has developed a script along with Wernick and Reese, but whether any of those drafts remain in play is unclear. Mark Gordon (Source Code) and production house Film360 are behind this one.

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