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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  • Josh

    Not making good movies? Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, and Monsters Ball are really interesting flicks. I don’t see how in any way he’s not making ” very good movies”. He’s a hit and miss director, but this shtick where Mr. Goldberg says these clever insults is getting old fast.

    • cloxlider

      I take it you don’t have many friends.

      • james

        Hey, Frosty, can you guys ban this nuisance? ^^^^

      • simon

        i dont know matt, you are not brave enough to interview people and share your ideas about them face to face, you dont write anything, no scripts, no books, just complain about everything with nothing smart to say , just crying around like an old lady, your reviews are not important because your lack of imagination and taste in movies, and basically, not a single important movie critic or director know about your existence or amazing ideas…you are little thing and im very aware of your lack of talent and balls for reach something better than receive what saint collider gives you to avoid death for starving, so i dont know, ill give a chance to this project, Quantum is better than little bitter vermin afraid of create anything. And the worst part is your coward safety of your rant knowing that the guys you bash dont even read you, because if foster or wernick invite you to a debate, you will shit your pants. simple like that.

    • Calcazone

      What the hell are you on about? Quantum of Solace was doomed from the start as he and Craig were trying to write it themselves during the writer’s strike. Machine Gun Preacher was a pretty average affair and World War Z doesn’t look great but how do we know? We haven’t even seen a trailer for it. Sometimes maybe you should just stick to the news.

  • Tey

    I love your blog Matt but Josh is right. Marc Foster made some pretty good movies, it seems pretty harsh to diss him. I agreed he made a mess with Quantum of Solace and hope he fares better with World War Z. Cheers.

  • papasteve

    Yep, you lost me at the first sentence. Marc Forster has made some very good films, he’s just gone on a bit of a bad run that’s all, perhaps because he’s taken on material that doesn’t suit him or there’s been some directorial miscasting; Finding Neverland was very moving, Monsters Ball was so good even Halle Berry won an Oscar and Stranger Than Fiction was a lovely little fable.

    Just think a bit first ok. I do like this site though.

  • KC

    Agreed that Forster is a capable director and that the first line is a bit shoddy.

    However, the script for this is so horrible, so mind-numbingly dull and stupid, that I can’t believe anyone is going forward with it. I can’t imagine this being good at all.

  • jack

    so yet another fine example of critiquing a film without having read the source material….have you not realized that no one cares about your opinion? if its not a review then you’re opinion should be kept to yourself

  • Winter Soulja

    Don’t listen to these tools, man. Finding Neverland sucked, Quantum sucked, World War Z is gonna suck. Keep on keeping on.

  • Sometimes my arms bend back

    While I’d agree that many of his movies lean towards the bland side of things, I’d argue that they’re still pretty solid, well made movies. Definitely better than “not very good”, although I’ll agree Quantum of Solace was very weak.

    It’s not like he directed Son of the Mask or Epic Movie! He does solid, if unspectacular work. Stranger than Fiction is actually really rather wonderful and well worth a watch for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

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