It’s been a pretty big week for the planned Uncharted movie, a project that usually moves along at a glacial pace.
First it was announced that Stranger Things and Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy had signed up to direct, and now writer Joe Carnahan (pictured below) has shared more details on the big-screen adaptation.
Carnahan had high praise for director Levy when speaking to Collider, calling him an ‘incredibly bright, incredibly skilled, talented guy’ with whom he shares a fondness for the Indiana Jones movies.
However, Carnahan actually stressed that the pair want to take something of an ‘anti indy’ approach to the film.
I can tell you this: what I’ve written is very anti-Indy in the sense of the guy that loves museums and wants to preserve these artifacts. He’s not! He’s a thief and he’s a grifter, and he’s a scourge. He and Sully are not good guys but they’re better than the bad guys. It’s a game, you know, they’re certainly rogues, and certainly don’t have a problem, even in the first game he just kind of dump Elena and it’s interesting.
The writer went on to suggest that a big part of the fact that movies based on videogames are so famously shit is because directors and producers are too rigid with the source material.
Carnahan implied that the Uncharted movie won’t stick too closely to the games, but that the characters will remain true to what we know and love from Nathan Drake’s digital escapades.
He also stressed that he’s sat down with some of the key team from the games, and that they seem pleased with the script:
I sat down with Amy [Hening, director of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune] and sat down with [Drake voice actor] Nolan North and sat down with Neil [Druckmann, writer of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune], who created this thing, and took them through what I was doing and what I was thinking of and they loved it. She loved it. She understands too that you can’t be so slavish and devoted to the source material. They could’ve just altered certain things about Watchmen, Zack Snyder’s film. I thought it was so much better than what it was–and I really enjoyed it–I thought God, there’s some really great movie in there that I felt got held back because we gotta check these boxes or these fans are gonna get on our ass.
I should quickly point out that Neil Druckmann actually took to Twitter following the Collider piece to clarify that he’s never met or spoken with Carnahan.
FYI… I haven't met the movie writer, don't know his take on the material, therefore have no opinion on the script. https://t.co/4Y99d772hF
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) November 2, 2016
Whether this means Carnahan hasn’t met with Nolan North and Amy Hennig remains to be seen, but I can’t imagine he’d explicitly lie about meeting all three.
At ant rate, he went on to tease that the current script involves various elements from the game, including the signet ring, the harvest magnet, and the legend of Sir Francis Drake. Oh, and a shit ton of action.
Carnahan then came on to the all-important subject of casting Drake himself. Apparently he and Levy have discussed a number of actors, but nothing is locked in yet due to unknown availability and cost.
He also revealed that the age of the actors playing Nathan, Elena, and Sully are pretty big considerations when choosing actors, given Sony’s plan to make Uncharted a multiple-film franchise.
Is Sully in his 50s and Nate in his late 30s? Is Nate in his late 20s and Sully’s in his early 40s? Who knows? It really is gonna depend on that process because if X gets excited and says ‘Oh, I want to play that,’ then it means Sully’s gonna have to be this age, and that changes things. And if you’re talking about making three, four films, what’s ideal for that?
You should definitely check out the full Collider interview for loads more. Go on. Shoo.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.