‘Uncharted’ Movie Won’t Star Mark Wahlberg or Use David O. Russell’s Script

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 27th, 2011 at 5:28 pm,

Uncharted Movie Nathan Fillion Uncharted Movie Wont Star Mark Wahlberg or Use David O. Russells Script

Following quickly after the announcement that Academy Award nominated director David O. Russell was leaving the upcoming video game-turned big screen film adaption, Uncharted, undisclosed sources have confirmed a pair of key news items that many fans are no-doubt eager to hear.

Recent reports suggest that Russell’s exit was, in fact, due to creative differences – stemming from a major conflict of opinion regarding how true the film should be to the celebrated Uncharted source material. As a result, it sounds as though Sony isn’t just passing on Russell, they’re also sending his script and would-be star packing as well.

According to a follow-up report from the LA Times, it seems Sony was just as skeptical about Russell’s bizarre take on the game as fans. If you’ve forgotten about Russell’s “family dynamic” focused Uncharted script, it went like this:

“… There’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice… We’ll have the family dynamic… And then you take that and put it on the bigger, more muscular stage of an international action picture, but also put all the character stuff in it. That’s a really cool idea to me.”

Instead of Russell’s family-heavy version, which many fans claimed would be an Uncharted movie in name only, it sounds as if Sony wants the film to follow significantly closer to the two (and soon to be three) video game story lines – and will bring on new writers to revisit an earlier draft of the script from Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan The Barbarian).

As a result, Sony is also very likely to cut ties with Russell’s star Mark Wahlberg – whose casting was poorly received from the moment it was announced. Anyone who can be objective will admit that Wahlberg is a talented actor; however, many gamers (and movie fans) haven’t been able to forget his performance in the video-game turned (terrible) film adaptation Max Payne.

No doubt Nathan Fillion fans are already scrambling to get Wahlberg replaced with the Castle star – for the role of adventurer Nathan Drake. Unfortunately for them, Fillion (who has appealed to Twitter in the past to help get his name in the running for Drake) has been surprisingly quiet the last twenty-four hours. Maybe he’s already preparing for the role – getting in extra practice at his local climbing wall.

fillion Uncharted Movie Wont Star Mark Wahlberg or Use David O. Russells Script

Obviously, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors that Sony wasn’t as sold on Wahlberg (or Russell’s “family dynamic”) as the director and star had led us to believe – which raises the question: how long had the Uncharted debate been raging between the studio and the director? Was Sony ever really on-board with the Wahlberg/family combo or was Russell pressing forward with his own agenda – hoping that the fan community and studio would come around?

At first glance, Russell’s exit does seem like a victory for Uncharted fans – who made it very clear that, despite his accomplishments, the director wasn’t the right man for the job. Certainly, Russell’s dedication to the family dynamic idea seemed to indicate that, despite comments to the contrary, he’d spent very little time playing the game – or attempting to understand what so many gamers enjoy about it.

That said, fans need to be open-minded about the next director, whoever it is – since it’s going to be that person’s job to make the best possible movie. Admittedly, Russell may have taken adaptation too far but the next man (or woman) for the job will still be faced with the same challenge: balancing a great movie experience with the video game’s somewhat limited (albeit terrific) source material – without the end-product coming-off as an Indiana Jones rip-off.

Quoting from an interview with fan-favorite game developer Ken Levine, regarding his take on the BioShock film adaptation:

“I think we’re in the space now of building properties that are appealing to people, and there’s a version of BioShock that makes a great game and there’s probably a version of BioShock that makes a great movie.”

uncharted still Uncharted Movie Wont Star Mark Wahlberg or Use David O. Russells Script

It’s important for fans to remember that film is a different medium than games – and shouldn’t merely superimpose the gameplay experience onto the big screen. So, let’s not hope for a filmmaker who can simply translate our favorite moments in the game onto the silver screen – let’s hope for a director that can show us the “version of [Uncharted] that makes a great movie.”

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know who you’d like to see direct the Uncharted film now – and who should play Nathan Drake?

The Uncharted film does not have a release date but, in the mean time, be sure to check out our sister site, Game Rant, for information on the next game in the series, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, as well as other noteworthy video game news items.

Source: LA Times

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TAGS: uncharted

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  1. Great news! Now cast Bradley Cooper as Drake ASAP!

    • I’d be OK with that choice. :)

    • OH HELL NO. Cooper always comes across as douchie.

      • Ticketmaster I couldn’t agree more. Can’t stand Cooper he just seems like the worlds biggest tool. I want to punch him in his smug looking face every time I see him in a film. The guy just rubs me the wrong way. He’s also one of the most overrated actors in hollywood right now. He is just barely mediocre and gets to much praise. He’s just the typical good looking hollywood douche with little talent.

        • Cool story bro, tell it again.

          • I agree, TM and Daniel F.

            He was OK for Hangover, but he was wrong for A-Team. I’m tired when Hollywood tries to make “It” people out of certain actors and actresses who have no discernible talent or charisma. They make it worse by forcing them into just about every known big role.

  2. I’d feel more comfortable having a director & writer who have played through both games take control of the movie adaption. Still keeping my fingers crossed for Nathan Fillion to be cast. He may seem too old at first glance, but I think if he bulks up he’ll be great. He already has the charisma and quick wit of Nathan Drake.

  3. Nathan is the best choice for playing Drake DO IT

  4. A lot of people think this is great. I don’t, because David Russel was actually trying to make a GOOD film.

    • Yesss David O. Russell was trying to make a good movie, but this wasn’t just a “original film he was making. It was supposedly, even claimed by him, going to be based off the Uncharted games, but heeeck no it was NOT. He was going to probably make a good movie yess, but not a “Uncharted” movie with our favorite hero Nathan Drake huntin for treasure n fighting the bad guys. Thats what got all the fans worked up. Just sayin.

    • Good movie or not it was not a movie for fans of the game he was adapting. He was simply using the name which prevented us from getting to see the game we like on screen instead just something with the same name and no similar story points or characters at all.

  5. I knew the whole O. Russell crap was just a joke!!!! A very bad one but a joke! :D

    Byyeee Marky Mark! You won’t ruin another VG franchise!

    This has made my day, my week, etc!!! :P

    Now my vote goes to Bradley Cooper! I saw him in Limitless and he has the right on-screen persona needed for Nathan Drake!

    By the way Ben! This article must be set to stone right??? I couldn’t take a following article staying that Marky Mark is back on the Uncharted Movie :P

    • Well, Sony hasn’t officially confirmed he’s out but… it sounds like Wahlberg and Russell were making everything sound a lot more official than they were. Russell brought Wahlberg to the project and fans hated it – I’m guessing Sony will just wash their hands of any Russell-related news.

      • It seems the logical thing to do. It seems too good news to believe therefore my skepticism! Thanks for your reassuring response! :D

  6. Filion is too old, I say Jensen Ackles or Chris Evans

    • Yeah Jensen Ackles needs a breakout role, so I agree.

    • Actually, that does seem like a nice fit…

    • I hadn’t though of Jensen Ackles but I think we would be really good for this.

  7. GREAT!! NATHAN FILLION PLEASE!! Welcome back!!! This sounds like a great decision by Sony! I think they saw that this was going to be like Street Fighter from the 90′s and said no no no, we’re not having this on our hands! So, they chopped the whole thing up.

    As far as the game being a Indiana Jones Rip off? Hey- whatever.. It’s an action adventure- the hero travels all around the world for special artifacts. There are interesting villains and also- there was a great chemistry in the video game between Nathan Drake and the blonde girl- forgot her name. But they need to bring that back! Him and that girl! It was funny , he was funny, and the settings were amazing!

    Come on make it happen! Stick to the story of the game and build from there its not that hard! Even Indiana Jones isn’t Indiana Jones anymore! People are looking for that pure- fresh expansive feeling set in historic ancient places. We need the kind of adventure that the game trilogy brought us!

    Uncharted could be so AWESOME!

  8. This is AWESOME. Now just get James Cameron to direct it and I will be sold on this movie!

  9. Im tellin you, no matter what they do. a video game to movie DOES NOT WORK…Its going to fail!

  10. First the Akria movie news now this. It’s a good day to be a fan.

  11. I really just wish they’d just give up on this. There’s no reason to make a movie. I’m relieved that David O. Russel won’t be doing his take on it. But it’s still very unlikely that the movie will be worthwhile.

    As much as I love the games (the 2nd one is my favorite video game ever), I really don’t understand why adapting it into a movie seems like a good idea. The writing and acting in the games are great, but the basic concept is essentially Indiana Jones in modern times. But this is forgivable, because it’s a video game, and because of the wonderful overall execution of the concept in spite of its derivative qualities. It ends up being a game version of what Indiana Jones 4 should have been. If they want to do an Uncharted movie that’s inspired by the movies that inspired the games, then that might work I guess.

  12. Game companies should make their own films. They have the resources. Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and too quick to raid others. Game companies have all the power and don’t realize it.

    • I agree, which is why I like what Ubisoft is doing.

    • @ticketmaster, I hardly ever use caps lock BUT WHAT YOU SAID DESERVES A HELL YEAH! If anybody should be making the movie it should be the game makers themselves. They don’t need the suits and studios anymore. They can do what Ubisoft and Marvel Studios is doing, cut the middle man and do it right!

  13. I say get Nathan Fillon or Bradley Cooper

  14. Wonderful news for us fans.

  15. I know this is serious but I can’t stop giggling and laughing about how Sony is giving these guys the boot. LOL! The fans have been heard and Sony paid attention.

  16. Only have to problems here Ben

    “Anyone who can be objective will admit that Wahlberg is a talented actor;”

    That’s not fair. It’s not a fact that marky mark is good. He has been in a few good films and wasn’t awful in them that does not make him a talented actor it just means that he landed a role that fit his only one persona. Marky Mark plays one and only one type of character. Lets not pretend Max Payne was his only bad performance. Hell it wasn’t even his worse. The Happening anyone? Marky mark has put in just as many bad performances as he has good.

    My second issue is you are talking about video games as if it’s impossible to make a good adaptation that stays faithful. As if you have seen from experience that a faithful one can’t be good. There has NEVER been a faithful game adaptation. Oddly enough there has never been a good game adaptation either. Maybe that’s a coicidence maybe not, but what’s so bad about trying? People love the games and it’s not just for the gameplay the stories are considered good as well. Maybe try making a faithful adaptation and maybe hollywood will finally have a success. The only real money maker so far is the resident evil films and they have been awful awful films not one of them was even close to good just marginally acceptable.

    • I can see where that might come across unfair – in general though, I think the backlash to Russell and Wahlberg ended up being a little over-the-top. I’m a fan of the franchise (I reviewed the second game at GR) and was equally put-off by the casting/direction of the story.

      However, as a movie fan, I thought that, despite the differences, maybe they’d prove us wrong in the end – and offer a great Uncharted movie that differentiates itself enough from the game to a be a great cinematic experience that could compete with summer blockbusters.

      Personally, I’m glad Sony wants an adaptation that’s closer – that said, I was just trying to make the argument that while it might be closer, that filmmaker will still need to tweak the story/format to make the best film possible. My concern is that in some of the fan backlash to Russell, I heard a lot of the same stubborn “all or nothing” fanboy comments and, as a movie fan, I thought that quote from Ken Levine summed up my feelings perfectly. There’s a version of Uncharted that could be faithful to the source material while also being a great movie – but it might mean some subtle (or not so subtle) tweaks here and there.

      Bottom-line, I’m a fan and hopeful they’ll get this right – but also want to see whoever steps up to helm the film next feel as though they have the room to make a great film (and, as mentioned, not just a retread of Indiana Jones with Uncharted characters).

      • I have to agree. And add that if they want to make it as close to the source material I say, instead of just recreating all the best parts of the game, like you said before, just do a whole other story. Make dont have him going after drakes fortune. Make it something different.

      • I don’t think it was over the top at all.

        I’ve said over and over on here I don’t mind changes to an extent. I love plenty of comic films that have changed things. However, I consider it an outrage when something is changed so much that it no longer resembles what it’s based on. This uncharted project was shaping up to be just that under Russels watch. Casting an actor who has not and never could portray this type of character. To adding some weird kind of family dynamic changing the entire story.

        Minor changes are ok and expected when you have to adapt an 8 hour game in to a 2 hour movie. However, nothing drastic is needed. Uncharted is almost a movie already. It’s story alone is equal to and even better than most modern day blockbusters. A few minor tweaks here and there are always acceptable, but at the end of the day you should be able to watch the film and recognize it as the property it’s based on beyond just character names and movie title. The story needs to be very close to the same the characters need the same personalities that people were attracted to and loved.

        I understand the point is to make a great movie, but what is the point of Adapting something if you are going to change it almost entirely? Whats the point of adapting a game about a single hero with loads of charisma and wit with just a bit of a sarcastic nature and his two companions on an adventure and turning it in to some family dynamic movie with a main character that will very obviously not have charisma or wit and more than likely be a rough around the edges tough guy from boston (only character Marky Mark ever played).

        I understand wanting to make a good movie, but at the end of the day that good movie you want to make is suppose to be an adaptation of an established property and should be treated as such not as something entirely new loosely based on the concept of that property. It’s suppose to be an adaptation of Uncharted not a movie inspired by uncharted.

  17. you want a game-movie? most of you would be happy with a Pac-Man movie… real happy!

  18. Not my idea but I saw David Boreanaz on google images being compared to Drake and thought it was actually a good enough idea. May be hard to imagine cause he always has his hair gelled but he does have the humour and similar looks. So if you can imagine his hair like Drakes I think he’s a competing match for Drake. What do ye think?

  19. Fillion looks just like Drake!!!

    But Ackles is the man, I’d love to see him get a breakout/franchise role.

  20. there is a god after all…

  21. Hooray! Nathan Fillion and a talented, experienced, potentially big-ish name director please!

  22. Well thats abig relief. No maybe some will get serious about this game tured film. I say. Steven Spielberg to direct and Bradley Cooper as Nate Drake. Yea now we’re playing with power

    • Spielberg can’t direct his way out of a cardboard box, or have we already forgotten kingdom of the crystal skull..

      My money is on Christopher Nolan with Nathan Fillion as drake.

  23. If Nathan Fillion really wants it, then I will watch it! Anybody else, fuhgedaboudit!

    • exactly.

  24. I’m for Nathan Fillion all the way!!! I just hope they get a good director that will capture the essence of the Uncharted realm and can get Fillion to play the role too. :D

  25. Nathan Fillion is the best man to be Drake. You can’t help make a comparison to Indiana Jones and Uncharted. So look at his Captain Mal character from Firefly an obvious nod to Han Solo but so much better of a character. Fillion has proven he can play a space cowboy that takes the best parts of a beloved icon and made it his own… No doubt he’ll do the same with Nathan Drake. As for a director as long as Fillion a card carrying geek is the star this movie will be awesome.

  26. Nathan Fillion is a rather bland actor to me. No real charisma at all. I’d like to see Joe Flanagan from Stargate Atlantis.

    • Joe Flanagan is a rather bland actor to me, though I still like him to a certain degree. Fillion, on the other hand, I adore, and consider to be greatly charismatic. I would still rather not see an Uncharted movie made. But if it were made, Fillion would probably be my top choice. I can relate to his reasons for wanting to play the role. My secondary choice would probably be David Boreanaz. I think he actually looks and sounds the part more than Fillion does, but I’d probably be more interested in seeing the film if Fillion starred.

  27. Get Gore Verbinski to direct!!!

  28. I originally thought Nathan Fillion would be the best fit for this part but now I’m starting to side with Bradley Cooper, I think his build and demeanor would work well.

  29. Is there anywhere a Petition for Nathan to star in it ?
    Would sign it !