David O. Russell bringing “Uncharted” to the big screen
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “Good” and “mixed” news for video game fans.
A big-screen adaptation of Sony’s “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” is moving forward after months of rumors. Those who play know the “Uncharted” franchise combines the heart-racing adventures of a 1940s serial with a lead hero who is equal parts Han Solo and Indiana Jones. The game receives most of its credit for its groundbreaking, cinematic visuals that put players into the game and really make you feel like you are manipulating your own action movie. So a movie version of “Uncharted isn’t just inevitable … it also is smart.
Here’s the “mixed” bit. Sony announced that David O. Russell – who previously was attached to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” – has been tapped to helm the “Uncharted” adaptation. On the decision, Columbia Pictures Co-President Matt Tolmach said, “David is a tremendous choice to take on this film. He’s equally adept at combining all the classic elements involved in this property: great character development, strong comedy, and amazing action sequences. He has a brilliant vision for this material and we know he will bring his original, unique voice to this adaptation.”
I’m less enthusiastic at this point. Russell hasn’t made an “action” picture since 1999’s “Three Kings,” though that picture does have the same vibe as we might expect out of an “Uncharted” film. However, Russell also has earned a reputation as a volatile director, and having him at the helm could create additional off-screen problems that eventually delay “Uncharted” from opening.
I’m also slightly bummed that they’re beginning the “Uncharted” film franchise with a story lifted from the first video game, which has a much simpler and less interesting adventure story than the superior sequel, “Among Thieves.” Maybe Russell – who’ll also direct – and his crew can figure out a way to combine both video game stories into one spectacular film?
Before he moves on to “Uncharted,” Russell will release “The Fighter” with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and (perhaps) compete in the on-going Oscar race. More on all of these angles as they develop.
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