Bad news for fans hoping to see Chris Pratt kick some more big screen butt next summer: Universal has reportedly pulled its upcoming action flick "Cowboy Ninja Viking" from next year's release schedule, and the film has been delayed indefinitely.
That's the word from Collider, which cites sources who say that the film -- originally slated to debut smack dab in the middle of summer movie season on June 28, 2019 -- was in pre-production when the studio abruptly "stopped discussions with potential supporting cast." According to Collider's sources, Universal "wasn’t eager to rush to meet a release date, given that it has franchise hopes for the property."
That's kind of an odd explanation (this movie is going to be huge, so let's delay it!), making us wonder if there was something else going on behind the scenes. Maybe the script needed work, or director Michelle MacLaren (who was to make her feature directorial debut) needed more time to prep for the shoot? Collider suggests that maybe it has to do with the fact that Pratt isn't as bankable of a star as he once was (his presence in the MCU notwithstanding), citing the less-than-expected box office haul of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" and the disappointing "Passengers."
It's possible that Universal simply wanted to take a beat on investing in another big project -- especially one with the potential to become more expensive down the road. But where does that leave the film now?
Collider says that the studio "will re-date the project at a later time," and also notes that Priyanka Chopra, who had just been cast as the film's female lead, remains the top choice for the part, whenever production resumes. Pratt will also stay on board, to both star and produce.
Now we just have to wait and see if Universal plans to continue development at all. Stay tuned.