“Cowboy Ninja Viking” has finally secured a director. Michelle MacLaren (“Game of Thrones”) will direct Chris Pratt in the upcoming film, beating out Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda”) and Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”) for the position, according to THR.
MacLaren is best known for her directing work on perennial hits “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones,” the former of which earned her two Primetime Emmys. Her CV is a treasure trove of TV’s latest and greatest, including directing credits on episodes of “The Deuce,” “The Walking Dead,” “Westworld,” “Better Call Saul,” “Modern Family” and “The Leftovers.” She still executive produces “The Deuce,” according to EW. She was also set to direct “Wonder Woman,” though she parted ways with Warner Bros. after creative differences. McLaren is slated to direct the TriStar flick “The Nightingale,” a WWII period drama based on Kristin Hannah’s novel of the same name.
“Cowboy Ninja Viking” is based on the Image Comics story from A.J. Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo; the series follows a counter-intelligence unit that uses people with dissociative identity disorder to create agents called Triplets, a nickname denoting the three personalities each deadly agent has. When the agents become guns-for-hire, the unit sends the ultimate Triplet, Cowboy Ninja Viking (Pratt), to neutralize his former brothers-in-arms.
Pratt is set to star in and produce the film alongside Mark Gordon (“Molly’s Game”) during his Mark Gordon Co. banner, Michael De Luca (“The Social Network”) via his Michael De Luca Productions, and Management 360, a production branch of Entertainment 360. Sara Scott will oversee for Universal. The original screenplay of “Cowboy Ninja Viking” was written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (“Zombieland”), with Craig Mazin (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) writing the latest draft. Pratt signed on to the project back in 2014, when it was first announced.
MacLaren is repped by ICM Partners and Stone Genow. “Cowboy Ninja Viking” hits theaters June 28, 2019.