Though David O’Russell’s vision for adapting the popular video game Uncharted will never see the light of day, the project continues to move on. At one point, Neil Burger (Limitless) was set to step into Russell’s role as director, along with providing the film’s script – but that is no longer the case. While we don’t have word about a new director, we do know who is taking a crack at adapting Naughty Dog’s popular video game series.
That task has now passed to Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, whose major writing credits are for sequels to successful action/comedies. They have been known to craft original stories as well – among them The 6th Day and G-Force – but sequels and big screen adaptations vastly overshadow those credits.
It’s worth mentioning National Treasure: Book of Secrets, the Wibberleys’ biggest screenplay credit, shares a lot of similarities with Uncharted in that they both feature a globe-charting treasure hunter at their center. Like Uncharted, the National Treasure films find a nice balance between the aforementioned adventuring and humor, a quality essential to doing the video game justice.
Another reason the Wibberley’s might have been given the job is their proven ability to adapt known properties into big screen features. Most of those have been successful TV shows like Charlie’s Angels and I-Spy, but if there’s one through line that can be drawn across the Wibberley’s entire career it’s the blend of action and humor. While the Uncharted franchise is mostly known for its bombastic action set pieces, its writing is equally as important.
A lot of the humor in Uncharted comes from its leading man, Nathan Drake, who at one point was to be played by Mark Wahlberg. While O’Russell’s departure signaled the death of his vision -which also included roles for Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci - it brought with it the hope that Nathan Fillion, an actor almost too perfect for the role, could step in.
That being said, at 41 years old it’s somewhat unlikely that Fillion will be handed the physically demanding role (studios do prefer younger faces to lead multi-film franchises, generally speaking), but his ability to crack wise whilst in immense peril should be a case study for any actor that does become Nathan Drake. As far as the Uncharted adaptation is concerned, we’re excited that it’s still moving forward, but we’re not holding our breath on it releasing any time soon.
How do you feel about National Treasure 2 scribes the Wibberleys being tasked to adapt Uncharted for the big screen?