Reports are coming in that Universal Studios has delayed Chris Pratt’s upcoming project, Cowboy Ninja Viking, indefinitely and pulled the film from its release schedule.
Though the film will remain in active development, no reason was given as to why the comic book adaptation was pulled a month before it was about to head into production. Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones) was set to direct the film with Priyanka Chopra (Quantico) in talks to play the female lead. MacLaren remains attached to direct the project along with Pratt to star in the titular role. Should the project move forward in the future, Chopra will likely be offered the role again.
The film is based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo. The graphic novel tells the tale of Duncan, a new breed of assassin who is able to manifest the abilities of a cowboy, a ninja, and a Viking.
The film was recently scripted by Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) and Ryan Engle (The Commuter). Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) penned an earlier draft, updating an original take by Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
Cowboy Ninja Viking was slated for a June 2019 release but sources told Collider that the studio wasn’t too eager to meet the release date.
This isn’t the only film of Pratt’s to be delayed. Numerous reports and rumors state that Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 may be delayed as well due to the firing of franchise director James Gunn. Pratt, and other cast members, recently came out in defense of Gunn and asked Disney to reinstate the director. However, it seems unlikely that the studio will bring Gunn.
In addition, Pratt’s latest release Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is expected to come in $400 million below its predecessor. While the film was still a major hit at the box office, it’s been panned by critics and currently holds a 51 percent at review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Pratt is slated to return to the franchise for a third installment.
While two of Pratt’s projects may be on hold, the actor can be seen in Vincent D’Nofrio’s upcoming western The Kid, which tells the story of a young boy who witnesses Billy the Kid’s encounter with sheriff Pat Garrett. The film will be directed by D’Nofrio, who also stars in the film. Ethan Hawke (Gattaca) and Dane DeHaan (Valerian) are slated to play Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, respectively.
Pratt will also be returning as Emmet in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. The long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The sequel will be helmed by Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After) and Trisha Gum. Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Will Arnett are slated to reprise their respective roles.
The LEGO Movie 2 is currently slated for a February 2019 release date.