The film adaptation of Naughty Dog’s popular video game series Uncharted has been languishing in development hell since it was first optioned in 2009. With multiple creative teams already having come and gone from the project, and some truly awful synopses being touted, fans have been left to wonder whether the film would ever coalesce. If so, would that even be a good thing?
In a recent turn of events, action film writer/director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Grey) has been hired to come up with a whole new take on the screenplay for Uncharted. Carnahan has proven able to weave big personality into a tight, action-packed narrative, making him an ideal choice to creatively guide the project.
In a further example of “getting it,” Carnahan posted this tweet earlier today on the topic of his work on the Uncharted film adaptation:
I wanna get with @Naughty_Dog & make sure we line things up creatively on "Uncharted". Hugely important to me. Gotta make creators happy.— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) July 30, 2016
The Uncharted series has been known for phenomenal gameplay and cutting edge graphical prowess. But the lovable, globe-trotting scoundrel Nathan Drake and his friends are also key reasons fans have kept coming back for so many years. Having released two additional games since the film rights were originally optioned, Carnahan arguably has an easier job than his predecessors did. The Uncharted series’ lore has not only been expanded but concluded with this year’s A Thief’s End. Making sure the film doesn’t step on the spirit or narrative of the games will now be far easier, whether it adapts a particular game storyline or acts as an “untold chapter” of sorts.
In any scenario, it’s good to know that Carnahan cares enough to check in with Naughty Dog. They obviously have a good handle on what a definitive Nathan Drake adventure should look like, having sired the franchise. Comparing notes to make sure the film evokes the same spirit simply makes sense.
While Carnahan’s involvement seems like only a positive thing, Uncharted still has the video game movie curse to overcome. There hasn’t been a single video game adaptation that has been a legitimate critical hit, and a very small percentage of them have been box office successes. You have to give Hollywood credit for continuing to try though. This year we’ve already had Warcraft, with Assassin’s Creed hitting in December. A Tomb Raider reboot is also deep in development for a scheduled release in early 2018.
Whether or not Uncharted, or any of these other films, will break the losing streak of game adaptations is anybody’s guess. But with so many chances to make it work, odds are it’s gotta happen sometime.
Uncharted is currently scheduled to reach U.S. theaters on June 30th, 2017.
Source: Joe Carnahan via Twitter