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In Universal’s upcoming Cowboy Ninja Viking, Chris Pratt will play a man who contains three distinct personas, making him an unstoppable assassin.
Now, in order to whip the project into shape for a summer shoot, the studio is hiring two distinct writers, fusing them into a team, in order to make an unstoppable script.
Dan Mazeau, who wrote Wrath of the Titans, and Ryan Engle, who worked on the Liam Neeson action movies The Commuter and Non-Stop as well as Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage, have been hired to work together on Cowboy Ninja Viking.
The pic, which will be helmed by Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren, tells of a counter-intelligence unit that uses multiple personality disorder patients to create agents known as Triplets, referring to the three personalities the killers have. When the agents become rogue hired guns, the deadliest Triplet of them all — one who can manifest the toughest skills of three different personas, that of a cowboy, a ninja and a Viking — is called in to take down his own brethren.
The studio and producers had been meeting various scribes for the project, and, with Mazeau and Engel, felt each writer had his own strengths and ideas that they liked. They then took the rare, but not unheard of, step of asking the scribes to work together, and Mazeau and Engel agreed.
Craig Mazin (The Hangover II) wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay, which is based on the Image Comics title by A.J. Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo. The original draft was penned by Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360; Mark Gordon via Entertainment One; Michael De Luca; and Pratt are producing the project.
Cowboy Ninja Viking is slated for a June 28, 2019, release.
Universal vp production Sara Scott is overseeing on behalf of the studio.
Mazeau is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion and Katz Goldman; Engle is with CAA and Mosaic.
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