You would think Hollywood would’ve learned last summer after audiences rejected the mashup “Cowboys & Aliens” that mixing nuts and gum doesn’t work. But try, try again right? So here was have “Cowboy Ninja Viking” (sigh) and with Marc Forster now attached to direct, it’s closer to invading your screens.
This project has been kicking around a while, with “Zombieland” writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick signing on to write the film back in 2010. Based on a graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo, the comic centers on a multiple personality disorder patient who is trained to have skills that mix ninja stealth techniques, cowboy bravery and gunslinging, plus Viking-like brawn, ruthlessness and valor. Good lord. In a Bourne-like twist/ripoff, when the patients of the program are called back to the asylum where it originated, our hero instead decides to track down the mastermind who developed the program…blah blah blah…”Bourne Supremacy.”
Universal picked up this project from Disney where it was developed, when the studio suddenly realized it might not be the best movie to take your four year-old to see. Seemingly, Uni hasn’t learned a damn thing and they’d be wise to at least change this title becaues for anyone at the multiplex greeted with “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” they’ll invaribly choose something else. But, with “Safe House” and “Contraband,” the studio has been killing it in terms of generic actioners of which this seems like the perfect fit. And speaking of generic, Forster fits that mold as well, so moderate expectations for now which is really only fair for a movie called “Cowboy Ninja Viking.” But perhaps our interest will be raised once Forster drops “World War Z” later this year. [Deadline]