After the revelation that Chris Pratt turned down the main role for Sony’s big screen adaptation of the hit video game Uncharted, there were a few disappointed fans of both; the game and the actor, left questioning his decision. However, if you think about it, his agent must be inundated with myriad scripts after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy propelled Pratt into A List territory. Fortunately Pratt is now attached Universal’s tentpole adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking (does it come as any surprise that this role has sparked an interest from Pratt?). A movie with that kind of title would have Pratt’s Parks and Recreation alter ego Andy Dwyer jumping around stupid like an excited and diminutive kid-ster (Pratt is like a slightly less pumped version of Dwyer). This is also a pretty smart move, as it is a massive genre project that Universal is pumping a lot of talent and money into. With a story focusing on a schizophrenic assassin who obtains the skills of a Cowboy, a Ninja, and a Viking working for a secret government program, who wouldn’t want to be involved in a project like that?!
Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese initially penned the adaptation and passed it on to Disney, who ultimately claimed it was “too edgy” (which is a good thing) and passed on it (yay, but only because we like edgy). Universal eventually picked it up and couple years back and brought Marc Forster on board to direct, but as the clock ticked and things moved forward, he’s no longer attached to the project (which is a good thing really looking at his previous work as he seems like a Hollywood go to guy).
Duncan – who is the protagonist in the novel – is the result of a counter-intelligence program made up of Multiple Personality Disorder patients who are converted into agents know simply as Triplets (due to their three different personalities, quiet self-explanatory really). Duncan manages to escape and goes on a mission to find the millionaire who devised the program. In the latest draft of the script the three personalities (Cowboy, Ninja, and Viking) are portrayed differently each having different physiques onscreen as Duncan switches persona’s with everyone else seeing him as the same person i.e. Pratt. It’s difficult to tell how they are going to handle this and whether they are planning on using three other actors to portray the three alter egos. This will inevitably come to light once a director joins the team and after script re-writes.
There has been no direct set for the project but now that Pratt is attached it shouldn’t be too hard to generate interest from the big guns. Mark Gordon – who is producing the Steve Jobs biopic over at Sony – is producing the movie.
Pratt has shown that he has the ability to play roles with a mix of action and drama with great finesse as he has already proved with his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy (he has the acting chops… all one has to do it watch his performance in Moneyball or Zero Dark Thirty). Also, Pratt is nearing the end of his tenure at NBC, with the Parks and Recreation team filming the last two episodes soon, and thus, giving Pratt more time to commit to any movie role being offered to him that piques his interest. He is in a great position as of right now however, with Jurassic World coming out next summer (which, depending on Box Office receipts, could lead to more movies, and that seems pretty inevitable), and also Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is due out in 2017. As mentioned above, this kind of film sounds like it was specifically written for his comic sensibilities and it has certainly attracted our interest. We will keep you updated with all the latest news regarding the development of Cowboy Ninja Viking. Sounds like it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
Via – Collider