Celebrated TV director Michelle MacLaren is the latest person willing to step up and wrestle with the deadly Cowboy Ninja Viking; according to Variety, MacLaren has signed on to helm the long-gestating genre film. Originally written by Zombieland authors Paul Wernick and Everett David Reese—and passing through a number of other hands, most recently Craig Mazin, in the intervening years—the film centers on a mysterious assassin capable of manifesting the skills and personalities of all three of its titular playground make-believe staples. (You will be absolutely shocked, we’re sure, to learn that this one originally started as a graphic novel, by A.J. Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo.) Chris Pratt was reportedly attached to star in the project three years ago, although it’s not clear if he’s still on board.
MacLaren’s TV resume is about as close to impeccable as you’re likely to get; her credits include Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, Westworld, The Deuce, The Walking Dead, The Leftovers, and more. She’s yet to work much in the world of movies, though; she dropped out of directing Wonder Woman, and her other film project, The Nightingale, is still listed as being in pre-production, making Cowboy Ninja Viking potentially her first feature film.
That’s assuming it finally moves forward, of course; we’ve been periodically writing about this thing for almost eight long years, watching various directors and potential stars get pulled into its orbit before eventually breaking away. Still, between potentially lining up a bankable star, a solid release date (June 28, 2019) with Universal, and, now, a director with a little bit of clout to her name, it’s possible this pop-culture word salad of a title might finally make it to people’s plates.