David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg are seemingly on their way to becoming the next Scorsese/De Niro (or Scorsese/DiCaprio) of director and actor duos. Their most recent collaboration, The Fighter, is gunning to walk away with at least one, possibly two, acting awards at Sunday's Oscar ceremony, and the pair look set to work together again on the Uncharted movie adaptation.
Now comes word from Russell himself about another project with Wahlberg, titled Cocaine Cowboys - one that may come to fruition before these fellows begin production on their video game flick.
Cocaine Cowboys is based off a 2006 documentary of the same name, and was at one point set to star Leonardo DiCaprio, with Peter Berg (Hancock) in the director's chair. The pic tells the tale of Jon Roberts, a New Yorker who set himself up as head of a powerful drug cartel in Miami back in the 1970s. Between possibly playing Roberts and his role in Boogie Nights, it seems that Wahlberg was up to a good deal of debauchery back in the day - as far as his onscreen persona goes, of course. ;-)
The Playlist caught up with Russell recently at the ACE Eddie Awards, where the filmmaker mentioned Cocaine Cowboys as potentially being his and Wahlberg's followup to The Fighter. That's assuming he doesn't decide to do Uncharted or the comic book pic 2 Guns or resurrect his planned comedic teamup with Vince Vaughn on Old St. Louis - OR direct an in-development project titled The Silver Linings Playbook first. Russell certainly deserves props for keeping his options open, if nothing else.
On the topic of his big screen treatment of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Russell told The Playlist that "I'm really digging it, I think the story's coming together in a really intense cool way." Fans have been quite outspoken over the casting of Wahlberg as Nathan Drake and Russell's plans to deviate rather significantly from the plot of the original games, but the filmmaker himself has gone ahead and spoken out about the negative reaction to his ideas.
Video game movies have an undeniably poor track record, so it's hard to argue that Russell's "different" approach is a breakaway from a tried and true tradition. Wahlberg may seem a poor fit to play a treasure hunter cut from the same block of wood as Indiana Jones, but presumably Russell wants him onboard for a good reason - and the quality of his previous films suggests that he knows what he's doing.
It's also possible that if Russell and Wahlberg decide to team up for Cocaine Cowboys before Uncharted, the direction of the video game pic might change altogether. Recall that last fall Russell dropped out of negotiations to helm Uncharted and was moving forward with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, only to thereafter abandon that genre mashup and officially sign on for the adaptation of Drake's Fortune instead.
We'll just have to wait and see if all that turns out to be much ado about nothing, and Russell decides to move forward next with something other than Uncharted anyway.
Wahlberg previously mentioned that Uncharted could begin production by this summer, if Russell ends up being so inclined. A dramatized version of Cocaine Cowboys would presumably not begin filming quite so soon if Wahlberg and Russell select that as their joint effort, and the same goes for the other in-development projects to which Russell is loosely attached.
We'll let you know when Russell makes an official decision about his next movie.
Source: The Playlist