Saturday, 26 July 2014

Uncharted movie to shoot early next year?

After years of complex development, the Uncharted movie has finally gained some momentum with the arrival of Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) as director. Asked when production is likely to get underway, Gordon has revealed that "very early next year" is the plan. "That is months from now," he explains, "but it's like tomorrow, essentially, because the prep is so complicated for the movie." He promises the setting of the film will be "very international" and "all over the world."

The Uncharted series, for those of you unaware, is a globe trotting, loot hunting set of games for the Sony PlayStation, following adventurer Nathan Drake – a descendant of Sir Francis – on his quests to the likes of El Dorado, Shambala and the Iram of the Pillars. The Internet is united in wanting Nathan Fillion (Serenity) to play him onscreen, although back in the days when David O Russell (American Hustle) was set to direct, it looked like we were going to get Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor).

Gordon's own cast is not yet set, but he says he wants his Drake "to be a great actor. That's number one, and then if it's someone who has an actual jaw, that's even better. The game is so well done that you need it to live up to that. There's no way we'd do the inverse of that where it's somebody famous who can't act."

The earliest shot at the screenplay was by Sahara (2005) and Conan The Barbarian (2011) writers Josh Oppenheimer and Dean Donnelly. That version was jettisoned by David O Russell, in favour of his own vision (which seemed pretty divergent from the games), and that in turn was then crossed out and written over by Neil Burger (The Illusionist), and then by National Treasure (2004) writers Cormac and Marianne Wibberley.

Whether any of that work still informs what Gordon has been working on remains to be seen, but he says the script is now "in a very good place". The many fans who believe the games should simply be translated exactly to the screen, however, may still be disappointed.

"It's going to honor the mythology of the game," Gordon explains. "I love the complexity and frankly the sophistication of the storytelling in the game, and we aspire to that, but we don't want to tell the exact same story, of course. I feel like the people who play the games and know them well don't want to just see the same story told. You want extra shades. We'll be honouring some of the most interesting stuff from the first one and building from there."

We're potentially off to El Dorado to find Drake's Fortune then. As for any other details, we'll have to wait and see. There's no release date set for the film so far, but the fourth Uncharted game, A Thief's End, is out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 next year.

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