Cowboy Ninja Viking Comic Book Optioned

November 19, 2014 Headlining one major comic adaptation isn’t enough for Chris Pratt. The Guardians of the Galaxy star is now slated for the cinematic take on Image’s Cowboy Ninja Viking. Never heard of it? Never mind — most hadn’t heard of Guardians¬†at first, either.

The film, produced by Universal, will take the comic by writer A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo from its cult hit roots into the mainstream. It’s pretty mind-bending stuff — literally so, as it revolves around a group of trained assassins with multiple personality disorder, known as Triplets. Each channels a trio of fighting skills thanks to a regime of psychiatric conditioning, psychotropic drugs, and past-life regression therapy. Pratt is set to star as Duncan, the title character, with the abilities of — you guessed it — a cowboy, ninja, and viking.

The comic, first published in 2009, has been optioned for screen before. Disney picked up the rights in 2010, attaching Zombieland’s Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to write the screenplay. When that was deemed too dark — though quite what Disney expected, given the concept, is a mystery — Universal stepped in. Originally, Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster was set to direct, though he has now left the project. Collider reports that the film currently lacks a director, but that Mark Gordon will produce, likely after he finishes with the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic.

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