Does this mean he won't also be a bullwhip carrying archaeologist? Hmm... Pratt is certainly stepping up to be a jack of all trades since his first leading role as a space traveling adventurer in [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) last year. Now it's been announced that when he isn't training Raptors to do his bidding or Star Lording around the galaxy, he'll also be wining hearts as Cowboy Ninja Viking. Is there anything this guy can't do?!
This new movie is another attempt by Hollywood to mine the deep recesses of the comic book crates for inspiration. [Cowboy Ninja Viking](movie:2641065) is a title by Image Comics that debuted in 2009 and has been in various stages of Hollywood development ever since Disney bought the rights in 2010.
The Source Material
The book has a slightly more serious plot than you might expect from the title. It has to do with a secret government program called Triplets that takes patients with multiple personality disorder and uses this affliction to create superior assassins. Think of it like a wacky mix of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and Alias.
Early on the Triplets Program falls to pieces and it's lethal agents go rouge and become hired killers for the outside world. Chris Pratt would play the titular Cowboy Ninja Viking, also known as Duncan, who turns out to be the Triplet's most effective agent and is tasked to hunt down the rouge agents.
The Right Directors
There is obviously a lot of potential in this property as a fun action franchise that doesn't take itself too seriously. In that sense, they may have hired the perfect directors for the film in David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, stunt and fight coordinating legends who just made their directing debut with Keanu Reeve's [John Wick](movie:1116115) - another movie that kicks all sorts of butt and does it with a wink and a smile.
The Amazing Characters
Genre fans should be pretty psyched about these developments as the comic books have provided all sorts of great material, with a bunch of weird and wonderful supporting characters for the movie to get into. On top of Pratt's Cowboy Ninja Viking, other agents include Sniper/Chef/Martial Artist (who happens to be Duncan's ex-wife), Army Staff Sargent/Apache Indian/Scottish Highlander (Duncan's brother), Conquistador/Green Beret/Surfer, and perhaps my favorite: Hitman/Navy Seal/Roadie for Dokken.
Also, how great will it be if Chris Pratt gets to sport a couple of sweet mutton-chop sideburns as Duncan does in the books? If you ask me, that's enough incentive to buy a ticket right there.
The material is quite R rated - and I'll be waiting to see if they're able to play up the beautiful bounty of gore and swearing from the books. But unlike other comic properties (looking at you, Deadpool) I can picture the Cowboy Ninja Viking easily pushing the PG-13 boundary without betraying its essence.