Is ‘Guardians’ Star Chris Pratt Playing Another Comic Hero?
[Update: Chris Pratt has confirmed his involvement in the film via Twitter]
It looks like Chris Pratt may be taking on another major comic book adaptation. After catapulting into superstardom with his lead role in this past summer’s hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy, the actor is now reportedly eyeing a starring role in the big screen version of the Image Comics series Cowboy Ninja Viking.
Per Collider, the Parks and Rec actor is attached to star in the retelling of the story, originally created by writer A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. The story follows a counter-intelligence unit made up of trained assassins with a multiple personality disorder known as Triplets (for their three different personalities). When the team ends up collapsing, the unit’s members turn into hired killers. If he takes on the project, Pratt would star as the title character of Duncan, a Triplet with the abilities of — you guessed it — a cowboy, a ninja, and a Viking, who is sent to find and stop the group’s other rogue agents.
Many probably aren’t familiar with Cowboy Ninja Viking, although that’s not necessarily a deterrent since that was also the case with Guardians. Like Pratt’s previous comic book story, Cowboy Ninja Viking is packed with quirky characters. In fact, Duncan may be the lead, but his particular trio of skills isn’t even the weirdest combination portrayed in the original comics. While we don’t yet know which of the other Triplet characters will make it into film adaptations, there are plenty of bizarre options to choose from, including a Sniper Archer Clothing Designer and a Flight Attendant Joan of Arc Amazonian Warrior.
The adaptation has actually been in the works for several years now, with Disney initially picking up the rights back in 2010. Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese wrote the first version of the script, but the studio eventually deemed it too edgy and decided to let it go. The project has since found a new home at Universal.
Per Collider, in the latest draft of the script, “the three different personalities (the Cowboy, the Ninja, and the Viking) physically manifest onscreen as three different people when Duncan switches personas, but to onlookers he still just looks like Duncan.” Of course, the script could evolve or undergo revisions as it progresses further in the development process.
So far, the film has yet to find a director. Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster was set to helm the project when Universal first picked up the project, but he has since bowed out. The movie does have a producer on board in Mark Gordon, who has been working on Aaron Sorkin’s planned Steve Jobs biopic.
It’s no surprise that the studio would want Pratt to lead the film. Though he’s long since been a fan favorite with his turn on NBC’s Parks and Rec, Guardians of the Galaxy proved he was capable of carrying a gigantic franchise — all while adding his own comedic twist to the genre-crossing flick. Now, he’s quickly becoming an increasingly in-demand actor, especially since Parks and Rec is entering its last season next year. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if the actor decides to take on this second comic character, but either way, Pratt already has plenty of high-profile projects in the works. He’s starring in next year’s Jurassic World and will reprise his role as Peter Quill in the coming Guardians installments, the next of which is due out in 2017.