Just days after it was announced that Priyanka Chopra had been cast in ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’, and a month before it was expected to go into production, Universal has yanked this Chris Pratt-starring flick from its schedule and delayed it indefinitely. It does remain in active development, however, with Michelle MacLaren attached to direct. The latest version of the screenplay is credited to Ryan Engle and Dan Mazeau with an earlier draft by Craig Mazin based on the graphic novel by Andy Lieberman and Riley Rossmo. Maclaren would have made her feature film directing debut with this movie, after having helmed episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Better Call Saul’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Westworld’ and ‘The Walking Dead’.
Pratt and Chopra were the only two cast members that had been announced. Reportedly, Universal was in the process of rounding out the supporting cast when the plug was pulled. The film, which would have been modestly budgeted, was penciled in for release on June 28, 2019, less than a year away. But reportedly, the studio didn’t view that as a firm date and didn’t want the project rushed to meet it.
Chopra’s hit TV show ‘Quantico’ recently wrapped up its run. She is attached to return to India to make a new movie, ‘Gustakhiyan’ but it doesn’t look like that has a production start date yet. She will also appear in ‘Isn’t It Romantic’, but that has already wrapped.
Pratt will be seen in ‘The Kid’ a western directed by Vincent D’Onofrio and will be heard in ‘The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part’. Both of these films have already wrapped and are in post-production. The only other movie he currently has on his schedule is ‘Jurassic World 3’. There is also ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3’ which is (as far as we know) still scheduled to film next year, but after Disney’s abrupt firing of director James Gunn, it remains to be seen what will become of that project.
Obviously, something went wrong with ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’, but what that something is hasn’t been disclosed. It may have been determined that the script needed to be refined, which could take some time. Depending on how long this film is delayed could impact whether the actors or creators will be free to return when things align. Pratt is a producer on the film, so presumably Universal will work around his schedule. Chopra may or may not be available.
Check back for updates as we learn them.