Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 star Chris Pratt says the film adaptation of Image Comics’ Cowboy Ninja Viking is still on track. After several solid years on TV in such series as Everwood, The O.C. and Parks and Recreation, Pratt’s career was catapulted into the stratosphere with his hilarious turn as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Following up the film with a lead role in the 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World and what promises to be another smash with the Guardians sequel, Pratt has more than earned the clout it takes to see passion projects through, including a comic book adaptation that’s been in development for years.
Pratt says Cowboy Ninja Viking – which follows the exploits of Duncan, a member of a counter intelligence unit made up of patients suffering from multiple personality disorder – is still happening. The actor has been attached to Cowboy Ninja Viking since 2014 and seems to be the best hope for the film to get made. For one, the 2009 comics’ premise about Duncan – who channels the personalities of a cowboy, a ninja and a Viking in order to find rogue members of the counter intelligence unit (dubbed Triplets) after it implodes – seems to possess the sort of quirky sensibilities that Pratt has come to be known for.
In an interview with Collider for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pratt offers a status update on the Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation:
“It’s still in development. It’s definitely no joke. We’ve got a deal and we’re moving forward. It’s going to be [with] Universal. It’s going to be really, really fantastic … We don’t have a director. It’s together, it’s being put together. But we’re in the process of talking to directors.”
A lot has clearly changed since Pratt has signed onto Cowboy Ninja Viking. Judging from the actor’s comments, John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski are no longer attached to the project, which makes sense because Leitch signed on to direct Deadpool 2 after director Tim Miller’s departure from the Deadpool sequel.
Whether Cowboy Ninja Viking is fast-tracked from here seems to come down to a couple factors. For one Pratt’s schedule is going to be tight for a while because of his involvement in Jurassic World 2, the Avengers: Infinity War films and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Secondly, it will be interesting to see if the Cowboy Ninja Viking’s original screenwriters – Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – will remain attached to the project. Like Pratt, a lot has happened since the scribes were hired to write the script in 2010, namely the blockbuster Deadpool and now 2018’s Deadpool 2. On top of that, Reese and Wernick, who also wrote Zombieland, are in pre-production on the zombie comedy’s sequel.
With any luck, we’ll see Cowboy Ninja Viking sooner than later. It’s hard to say exactly why Pratt is so invested in AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo’s graphic novel series, but fans are destined to find out once the film begins production. Maybe the Viking part stems from the fact that Pratt was born in Minnesota and has Norse blood coursing through his veins or that he simply has an affinity for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Whatever the case may be, the actor seems intent on have Cowboy Ninja Viking score big with moviegoers.