While the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, has performed admirably at the summer box office, actor Chris Pratt and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy cast members have been plagued by the recent firing of writer-director James Gunn. Together they wrote in Gunn’s defense, though the likelihood of Disney going back on its decision remains low. To make matters worse, it was revealed on Tuesday that Universal Pictures had removed Pratt’s upcoming Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation from its release schedule for reasons unknown.
Collider first reported that the studio had removed the Pratt vehicle from its upcoming release schedule, while noting that the project is still in development and other talent, like Game of Thrones director Michelle MacLaren, are still attached. Entertainment Weekly subsequently confirmed Cowboy Ninja Viking‘s removal from Universal’s release calendar with a studio spokesperson:
No explanation was provided for the shake-up, though the studio noted that the film remains in active development, with plans to reschedule production and slot a new release date at a later time.
Based on the graphic novel written by A.J. Lieberman and illustrator Riley Rossmo, and published by Image Comics, Cowboy Ninja Viking follows Duncan, an assassin who possesses the unique ability to harness the deadly attributes of the distinct cowboy, ninja and viking personalities within him. Priyanka Chopra has been in talks to play the female lead alongside Pratt’s Duncan, though her future involvement likely depends on when Universal decides to move ahead with the project.