Now this is a movie I’ll be first in line to see! Universal Pictures is in early talks with John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski to co-direct the Chris Pratt action vehicle Cowboy Ninja Viking. Variety reports that an offer has gone out to Leitch and Stahelski after Pratt met with the directing duo and gave his stamp of approval.
The film is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name created by writer A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. The story follows Duncan, an assassin with Dissociative Identity Disorder who is endowed with the skills of a cowboy, ninja, and viking. Duncan’s skills are a result of a government counterintelligence program that transforms D.I.D. patients into super-soldiers known as “Triplets” (so called because of their three personalities – ie cowboy, ninja, and viking). When Duncan escapes, he sets out to track down billionaire who founded the program.
John Wick was hands-down my favorite action film of 2014 (and that’s saying an awful lot for a year that also had The Raid 2), and that was largely because of the slick style and cleverly (and clearly) shot action sequences that Leitch and Stahelski brought to the table. These guys know how to handle a fight scene, and it’s thrilling to think about how they would handle the various combat techniques and action set-pieces that could arise of the film’s premise.
With the success of last year’s Gaurdians of the Galaxy behind him, and Jurassic World on the horizon (not to mention that Indiana Jones rumor), Pratt is currently the guy in Hollywood for fun action films, and there’s no doubt Universal has seen some of the best available directors for this Cowboy Ninja Viking because of his involvement. Leitch and Stahelski are an extremely exciting choice for the gig, and I could easily see their style meshing flawlessly with Pratt’s sensibilities.