Marc Forster is a director who likes to switch between quieter indie fare such as Stranger Than Fiction and big genre jobs, including Quantum Of Solace and the upcoming World War Z. But for his next trick, it appears he’s not headed back into drama territory, but is instead taking on genre mash comic-book adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking.
Yes, after dealing with zombies gone global in Z, Forster is now looking to expand his sci-fi palette with a little extra fun. The comic, created by AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo, finds a man recruited into a secret government program that aimed to turn schizophrenia patients into assassins. But things somewhat naturally go awry and our hero is left with the skills of the titular warrior types. When the scheme is closed down and some of the test subjects escape into the world, the newly endowed fighter uses his skills to hunt them down. And he’s got his own hidden agenda: he also wants to find the billionaire who funded the idea in the first place.
Disney originally nabbed the rights to the story back in 2010 and attached Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to tackle the adaptation. We speculated at the time that it might not be the most natural fit for the Mouse House and so it has come to pass, with Disney dumping it into turnaround and, like it did with Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, Universal stepping up to take it on.
They’ll no doubt be hoping it turns out more successfully than the company’s last attempt at a comics-based genre blend, Cowboys & Aliens. Either way, the plan is for Forster to start shooting later this year, once he’s put the finishing touches to his time with the zombies.