TV Fave Michelle MacLaren to Direct Chris Pratt’s ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’
If you, like me, have been following Michelle MacLaren’s career closely since the Breaking Bad days, then you’ll be stoked about this news: The acclaimed television director has finally landed a blockbuster gig. MacLaren has signed on to helm Chris Pratt’s Cowboy Ninja Viking, the upcoming action flick based on the graphic novel of the same name.
According to Deadline, Universal has tapped MacLaren to direct Cowboy Ninja Viking, which stars Pratt as a badass assassin who possesses the butt-kicking skills of — you guessed it — cowboys, ninjas and vikings. Based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman, Cowboy Ninja Viking was first announced a couple of years back, but given Pratt’s busy Marvel schedule, it took some time to get going.
MacLaren, whose TV credits include Game of Thrones and The Deuce (which she also executive produces), was previously attached to helm Wonder Woman before creative differences forced her off the project. Though that may have been for the best in the long run, MacLaren fans have been dying for her to land a major movie gig — her name is often dropped as one of many female directors studios should hire for their franchise blockbusters.
Cowboy Ninja Viking won’t be the first movie MacLaren has directed — she helmed the 2006 thriller Population 436 — but it will be her first big-budget project. Although Hollywood has made a little progress in hiring more female filmmakers, it’s not nearly enough; MacLaren directing a blockbuster shouldn’t be such a huge deal in 2018, but women are still so rarely hired for these high-profile, big-budget studio jobs that it feels like major news when it happens.