One week ago, we reported on the possibility that Mark Wahlberg might not be locked for the role of Nathan Drake in David O. Russell's Uncharted movie.
Now, we're getting further confirmation that Wahlberg, as well as the "Family Dynamic" that Russell had been touting, do not represent a concrete direction the filmmaker is headed.
Joystiq spoke with Uncharted 3 game director, Justin Richmond, who threw fans a bone, asserting that all of the outrage around the "family dynamic" that Russell had mentioned at the beginning of December, might be a bit premature:
"First of all, all that stuff was denied by David O. Russell. He actually called us up and was like, 'I don't know what these guys are talking about.'"
Similarly, Richmond also denied that Mark Wahlberg was a lock for stepping into the treasure-hunting boots of Nathan Drake. Joystiq claims, "Mark Wahlberg isn't anywhere near to being confirmed to play Nathan Drake either -- it's just Hollywood scuttlebutt, apparently."
As for the game director's response to countless petitions for Firefly star Nathan Fillion to be cast in the role, Richmond responded with encouraging news for fans:
In the world of the 24-hour internet news cycle it's easy to see how Russell's comment about interest in a "family dynamic" for his Uncharted movie could get twisted into fan-fueled anxiety - painting Russell's, admittedly off-the-mark, idea as irrefutable fact.
However, the notion that Mark Wahlberg isn't confirmed for the role is harder to dismiss, as the actor seemed pretty confident about his attachment to the part - and even seemed to sound as though he was assisting in the development of the film, when the news broke back in November.
Richmond's comments offer a brief glimpse of perspective on a film production that has already received a lot of negative attention. Fan-reaction has been especially intense - because Russell and Wahlberg's previous comments seemed to indicate that the filmmakers would be taking both the character and the story in a radically different direction than had been established in the games.
That said, the Uncharted film is still very much in the early stages of pre-production. It's been six months since we heard anything about the Thomas Dean Donnelly/Joshua Oppenheimer script and Russell has only been attached to the project for a month and a half - and will undoubtedly be making significant edits (if not rewriting the script entirely).
As a result, Uncharted fans have plenty of reason to still be optimistic. Naughty Dog, the game's developer, has proven they're dedicated to high-quality, cinematic story-telling in their video games, and it's hard to imagine that the team, or Sony, would allow (or at the very least can afford) to have the budding mega-game franchise tarnished by a horrible movie-adaptation.