John Wick Directors Join Chris Pratt for Cowboy Ninja Viking

By  · Published on January 30th, 2015


Three of last year’s biggest breakouts are set to work together on your new most anticipated movie of, well, currently forever. Cowboy Ninja Viking doesn’t have a release date yet, so I don’t know how long you’ll need to be patient, but try to contain your excitement. We already knew that rising tentpole star Chris Pratt would be front and center in the adaptation of A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s graphic novel if the right person or persons were at the helm, and now he’s given his approval for the men who will likely direct him: Chad Stahelski and David Leitch.

That’s right, the duo who helmed John Wick, which was their feature directorial debut following decades of work as stunt men and second-unit work. According to Variety, they’re in early talks with an offer out, but it’s hard to see this not coming together as perfectly as it sounds. Leitch recently directed second-unit shots for Jurassic World, though it’s unlikely he got to work with Pratt on that gig. He and the actor were also both involved with the anthology comedy Movie 43, albeit on different segments. They’ll finally unite for this.

Stahelski and Leitch are a lot more suited to Cowboy Ninja Viking than the previous director attached, Marc Forster, who’s done great genre work but stuff that’s often more serious in tone than fun. And with a title and premise like this has, fun is important. Pratt will play a man with multiple personality disorder who is trained by the government so that each of his three selves has a separate skill set and identifying character type – one is a cowboy, one a ninja, one a viking. And he goes rogue, aiming to kill the man behind this crazy super-soldier project.

Because of their history with Keanu Reeves – Stahelski’s going back as far as his doubling for the actor on Point Break – I think there’ll have to be a part for him. I haven’t read the comic, so I’m not sure which other patients from the program have substantial parts in the story, but there is one whose three personalities are conquistador, green beret and surfer, which sounds perfect for Reeves. Or maybe the one who is a hitman, a Navy SEAL and a roadie for the band Dokken.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.