From WWZ to Cowboy Ninja Viking

Marc Foster – who first broke onto the scene with Monster’s Ball – has chalked up quite a varied career.

He helmed Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, Quantun of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher, and also just wrapped up World War Z, which will be out in December. He clearly likes to tackle different genres and not repeat himself, although his next project, Cowboy Ninja Viking, will be written by the scribes of Zombieland.

According to Collider, Cowboy Ninja Viking, an adaptation of a graphic novel, will indeed by written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who did Zombieland.

At first, Disney was going to make the movie, then it went over to Universal, who hope to turn it into a series.

The plot? The government is trying to turn people suffering from schizophrenia into assassins. The leader, who clearly has split personalities, is a cowboy, ninja, and a viking in one. Holy sh*t, just imagine the A-list actor looking to take this one on. Sounds completely insane. Actually, it is…

And funny enough, Foster was recently up for a project I remembered hearing about years ago, The War Magician, a true story about a magician who used illusions and tricks in World War II to help defeat Rommel in the desert. According to Collider, the illusions the magician, Jasper Maskelyne, invented, “are still being used in modern warfare.”

This film was in the works for many years, with Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society) originally attached to direct, and I think it would be a fascinating story if it can ever get off the ground.

Peter Buchman was the screenwriter, and he also worked on an Alexander the Great screenplay with Christopher McQuarrie that was actually the first in development before Gladiator made the world safe for Roman epics again. 

As Buchman told me years ago about The War Magician, “I usually find that truth is stranger than fiction, and this story is beyond anything I could make up, without a doubt!”