Marc Forster to Direct COWBOY NINJA VIKING from a Script by ZOMBIELAND Writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese

     February 28, 2012


Despite not making very good movies, Marc Forster keeps getting signed for major projects.  He helmed the upcoming “adaptation” World War Z (the final film will probably have little resemblance to Max Brooks’ novel) and earlier this month we reported that he had signed on to direct the adaptation of David Fisher‘s non-fiction novel The War Magician.  Deadline is now reporting that Universal has signed Forster to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking for his next movie.  Zombieland screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese wrote the screenplay for Disney, but the studio “deemed it too edgy” and Universal picked it up in turnaround.  Naturally, Universal is intent on spawning Cowboy Ninja Viking into a franchise.

Hit the jump for details on what sounds like fanboy word salad.

cowboy-ninja-viking-book-coverHere’s the synopsis per Deadline:

Cowboy Ninja Viking is based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. The title character comes from a secret government program to turn schizophrenics into assassins.

Stop right there.  Of all the people in the world you could turn into assassins, you’re going to go with schizophrenics.  When choosing from a wide variety of psychological ailments, you couldn’t go with “anti-social behavior” or see what the psychopaths were up to?  You went with a mental disorder that makes its sufferers anything but reliable.  Okay then, let’s continue…

The protagonist comes through the program with the skill sets of a cowboy, ninja and a viking.

I’m assuming he drew these out of a hat.  Not in the hat: good ideas.

While most of the patients involved in the program are sent back to insane asylum after the program went awry in Iraq,

What?!  It went awry?!  In Iraq?!  But that’s the sanest place on Earth!

he escapes and uses his skills to track down the billionaire who masterminded the program.

I haven’t read the comic and I’m praying this is all meant to be tongue-in-cheek rather than a horribly misguided attempt to be edgy and cool, and I know Wernick and Reese can write a script that’s fun and crazy enough to make the former work.  Forster, on the other hand, is too much of a straight man.  There’s no imagination in his movies (the exception being Stranger Than Fiction).  There are only showy, empty moments, which might work for Cowboy Ninja Viking if Forster hadn’t failed horribly at directing action in Quantum of Solace.

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