Chris Pratt Wants to ‘Shape Today’s Youth’ with Upcoming WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID

Photo from Chris Pratt’s Instagram

Chris Pratt Wants to ‘Shape Today’s Youth’ with Upcoming WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID

By Movieguide® Contributor

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY superstar Chris Pratt is set to star in WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID with CHARLIE’S ANGLES director McG in an $85m deal with Skydance.

“We make this one of the single biggest package deals since Apple splashed on EMANCIPATION back in 2020,” Deadline said Thursday.

“The Will Staples (WITHOUT REMORSE) script is adapted from the kids novel by Jock Willink, the retired Navy SEAL who found a second career as a wildly popular podcast host, author and motivational speaker. Additional casting is in process. Skydance will bring the project to Apple through its overall deal there,” Deadline wrote.”

The movie depicts the plight of a bullied boy, 11-year-old Marc, who struggles to accomplish a single pull-up. His Navy SEAL uncle Jake moves into Marc’s home just in time to peg Marc as his new mission.

“Although the kid learns about swimming, math, exercise, health, and fighting, the book isn’t only about those things. It’s as much about what can be achieved with focus and discipline and how to overcome fears, stand up for oneself, solve problems and develop confidence,” Deadline wrote.

The Cannes Market listed the movie before Skydance swiped it.

“Skydance saw the project early and were hot on it even before it hit the Croisette (the company itself wasn’t on the Riviera),” Deadline said. “A lot of indie buyers wanted the film and domestic distributors made plays but Skydance’s global offer was too much to turn down [net budget will be below the winning bid] and there was always an expectation that this one could get a worldwide deal. UTA Independent Film Group was handling domestic/global and FilmNation was aboard for international.”

Pratt will star as Uncle Jake — a role that he’s proud to take on.

“I’ve known Jocko Willink for a couple of years, so I was eager to read the script based on his series of children’s books,” Pratt said. “I believe in the power of storytelling and felt particularly called to the material.”

“I have faith this film will help to shape today’s youth, putting them on the right path,” he continued.  “Our young people need this movie. This is the kind of movie that can define a generation, like KARATE KID or ROCKY. As a dad, this is the kind of movie I want to show my kids. So, with the help of an incredible creative team and the right partner, we’re gonna make it.”

Pratt notes that his character, who portrays “healthy masculinity,” sets an example needed in current culture.

“Jake uses fundamental principles he learned in the Navy SEALs to teach his nephew to gain confidence in himself, as well as to grow mentally and physically stronger in order to overcome adversity such as dealing with bullies, improving grades at school, and more,” Pratt said. “I have close family members and friends who served in the military, including my older brother, who has had a huge impact on my life. So, I always feel especially drawn to stories like this that inspire us to face our fears and become stronger mentally and physically.”

Movieguide® recently reported on Pratt:

THE GARFIELD MOVIE’s director says Chris Pratt was his first choice to voice the iconic cartoon cat. 

Mark Dindal, whose previous directorial work includes CHICKEN LITTLE and THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, said he had been “imagining [Pratt’s] voice coming out of Garfield” for years. 

“I was like, ‘Really?’” Pratt joked. “[But then] I thought there’s a version of myself, like around the Andy Dwyer stage of my life, that I felt was similar to Garfield, and so I thought, ‘Ok, I can do that.’”

Willink created the “Warrior Kid” book series when he noticed the books he read to his children lacked good role models.

He said, “So I started writing and publishing these kids’ books to give them value and some direction, and suddenly I’m getting letters and emails and handwritten notes from kids all over the world, who did their first pull up or entered their first jujitsu competition, or memorized all the presidents. These are all things that are in the books.”

The movie could start filming as soon as this summer, per Rural Radio.

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