Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fanboys Rejoice: Russell Exits Uncharted Movie


David O. Russell, the helmsman of the upcoming film adaptation of the much beloved video game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, has backed out of the director’s chair. When Russell was brought aboard, there was a lot to be happy about. He was the director of Three King’s which was a good movie, and The Fighter, which was just a flat out amazing flick. However, when Russell began talking about where he wanted to take Uncharted, it was clear that this ultimate boon was more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Russell’s ideas clearly had very little to do with the Uncharted franchise. Sure he had Nathan Drake as the main character, but that’s about it. His story involved Drake and his father and uncle traveling the globe looking for buried treasures. The Drake’s come from a long line of treasure hunters, you see. It was just in their blood. Mark Wahlberg was set to star as Drake with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as his father and uncle respectively.

So the premise of the film is close to Drake’s Fortune, but it’s kind of like the difference between GI Joe and Rainbow Six. Yeah their mostly the same with some significant differences here and there, but if you set out to make a GI Joe movie, why make something closer to Rainbow Six? It seems to me that Russell was aiming to do the same thing here, just replace GI Joe with Uncharted and Rainbow Six with National Treasure.

The casting seemed a bit wonky too, didn’t it? Mark Wahlberg as Nathan Drake? Really?? Look, I like Marky Mark, I think he’s a great actor, but Drake he ain’t. Robert De Niro as Sully certainly has merit, but remember kids, De Niro wasn’t going to play Sully, he was playing Drake’s father. Since when does Drake have an uncle? Well if he does I’m relatively sure he doesn’t look like Joe Pesci. And let’s not forget when Russell infamously commented that the game’s story wasn’t needed as a blueprint for the movie’s story, basically confirming that they had no interest in making an Uncharted adaptation. They probably just wanted the name recognition for bigger profit potential. Wahlberg assumed that because they were spending gallons of money securing choice cut talent that somehow translated to the game’s story “not being watered down.” Stupid man.

It was obvious to the fans of Drake’s Franchise that Uncharted was destined to follow suit in a long line of video game adaptation failures. Man it’s sad when you look back and say, “You know, Mortal Kombat really is the best video game based movie.” Fortunately, Russell backed away due to creative differences. The Naughty Dog team is closely involved in the production, so it is very likely that they were not pleased with the potential outcome and muscled Russell to either play ball or take a walk. For my money, I’d say Russell made a wise move. A bad movie adaptation based on a phenomenal game is not going to look good on your resume bub.

All in all, I’d say that this is a good thing. Yes this means that the Uncharted movie is being delayed for a bit. Yes this could mean that it gets stuck in development hell. Would that even be a bad thing? It’s probably for the best that an Uncharted movie never gets made, in my humble opinion. But then again, it could mean that the producers attach an incredibly talented director who actually respects the source material and is *gasp* a fan of the franchise. We all know how unlikely that one is. Personally, I’d love to see John Favreau with this project and Nathan Fillion taking the lead role. Yes Nathan, you have my support. A Nate for a Nate I say.

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