While Russell was rumored to be looking into Old St. Louis as his next directorial effort, he has now officially signed on with Sony Pictures Entertainment to helm a film adaptation of the popular video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune instead.
Russell was shortlisted to direct the Uncharted movie last May, but broke off negotiations to direct the adventure game picture just two months ago - in favor of P&P&Z. Sony officials apparently didn't carry a grudge (publicly) considering, in the recent press release, they describe the Three Kings filmmaker as "a tremendous choice to take on ['Uncharted']... equally adept at combining all the classic elements involved in this property: great character development, strong comedy, and amazing action sequences."
Screenwriters Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer - who also penned the upcoming Conan reboot - wrote an earlier draft of the Uncharted script. Russell will revise their script for the film, which looks to be his followup to this winter's Oscar-hopeful, The Fighter.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure game whose plot is in the vein of the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider series. It revolves around Nathan Drake, a descendant of the famous (or infamous, if you're Spanish) 16th century British seas captain, Sir Francis Drake. Drake goes on a quest to recover the coffin of his forefather, only to discover a far more precious item in the form of a diary that leads him, and journalist Elena Fisher, to El Dorado. Trouble ensues along the way, naturally.
An Uncharted movie has the potential to be a fun, globe-trotting adventure that would introduce a new guns-blazing marauder to the big screen. El Dorado was also the MacGuffin for the second National Treasure movie and the fourth Indiana Jones, so it is not as fresh a plot-driving concept nowadays as it was when the original game debuted back in 2007.
Russell has (fairly) earned himself a reputation for being a tempestuous director with his previous behavior - which includes a much-publicized incident in which he put Batman director Christopher Nolan in a headlock. Despite his antics, he is still a solid filmmaker and should deliver an Uncharted movie that could easily rank among the better video game-to-movie adaptations out there.
We will keep you posted on the status of the Uncharted: Drake's Fortune project as more news comes our way.
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment