Michelle MacLaren to Direct Chris Pratt Action Movie “Cowboy Ninja Viking” for Universal

Michelle MacLaren Cowboy Ninja VikingGetty Images

has been set to direct the Chris Pratt action movie for Universal, the Tracking Board has confirmed.

Based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo, the film stars Pratt as a new kind of assassin who manifests the toughest skills of three different personas — a cowboy, a ninja and a viking.

Craig Mazin (The Hangover II) wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay. The original draft was written by Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Everett David Reese.

Management 360’s production arm Entertainment 360 is producing alongside The Mark Gordon Company and Michael De Luca Productions. Universal’s Sara Scott will oversee production on behalf of the studio.

Pratt is also a producer on the film, and sources say he was a big part of the push for a female director on Cowboy Ninja Viking, as Jennifer Yuh Nelson was also a finalist for the action-heavy gig. Studios often overlook female filmmakers when it comes to big-budget action movies, but clearly the tides are turning in Hollywood, in large part thanks to Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who took over for MacLaren and delivered her own take on the comic book heroine.

Cowboy Ninja Viking may not be Marvel or DC, but it has its own strong fanbase, as does Pratt, who leads Universal’s Jurassic World franchise in addition to Guardians of the Galaxy. His latest comic book movie will be released by Universal on June 28, 2019.

MacLaren most recently executive produced and directed the pilot of the HBO series The Deuce, and she has also directed numerous episodes of Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, the latter of which won her Golden Globe and Emmy awards. She’s represented by .

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