Just over a week after reportedly casting Priyanka Chopra as its female lead, Cowboy Ninja Viking – the film adaptation of the comic book also starring Chris Pratt and to be directed by Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) – has been delayed indefinitely by its studio, Universal Pictures, according to a new report.
Sources have told Collider that Universal has removed Cowboy Ninja Viking from its release calendar, just a month before the film was set to enter production. It’s still in “active development” though, with both Pratt and MacLaren attached. Chopra will be “the first choice for the role” when the film gets a new production schedule, but “her involvement would all depend on her schedule aligning with” the filming months.
Cowboy Ninja Viking was originally slated for a June 2019 release date, but Collider’s report also states that “the studio wasn’t eager to rush to meet that release date” because “it has franchise hopes for the property”. Universal was reportedly in “discussions with potential supporting cast” before it decided to halt pre-production.
Pratt has been attached to the film since November 2014, while MacLaren was hired as director in January this year. A committee of writers have been involved with Cowboy Ninja Viking; Collider’s sources state Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Everett David Reese wrote the original draft, with Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) following. Dan Mazeau and Ryan Engle wrote the most recent one after being brought on board in May.
Chopra was last seen in the third and final season of Quantico, which ended its 13-episode run last Friday. Pratt's most recent ventures include Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Avengers: Infinity War.