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TV Veteran Michelle MacLaren to Direct Chris Pratt’s ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’

Prolific television producer and director Michelle MacLaren has made her career guiding some of the most important series in recent memory. Now, Universal Pictures has announced that MacLaren will make the leap to the big screen to oversee Chris Pratt’s upcoming action flick Cowboy Ninja Viking.


The science fiction film focuses on a special forces unit that trains people afflicted with multiple personality disorder to become a particular type of assassin. Called “triplets,” these killing machines balance one of three equally deadly personalities.

When the bulk of the triplets go rogue, it’s up to the most lethal among them, Cowboy Ninja Viking — played by Chris Pratt — to hunt the traitorous elements and take them out.

Putting MacLaren in control of an action blockbuster was a no-brainer. Since 2000, she has played a part producing or directing The X-Files, Breaking Bad, Westworld, Modern Family, and The Walking Dead. MacLaren also distinguished herself as the first (and only) female director of Game of Thrones.

MacLaren almost made her feature debut directing Wonder Woman in 2014, but she left the project over creative differences.

Still, studios were chomping at the bit to get MacLaren in the director’s chair of a major motion picture. It was a tight race. Given her masterful grasp of spectacle and storytelling, several studios were eager to nab the director. In the end, however, Universal Pictures grabbed the honors.

When she’s finished turning Pratt into a schizo, she’ll take on the World War II spy thriller The Nightingale at TriStar.



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