For many fans of the Uncharted video game series from developer Naughty Dog and publisher Sony Computer Entertainment, it was a relief to hear in May that directer David O. Russell would no longer be bringing us his strange adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune to the big screen with Mark Wahlberg starring as franchise protagonist, Nathan Drake.
Their plan for the film had little to do with the game, so why potentially tarnish that brand and use that character name for something unrelated? The fan outcry won in the end and now the Uncharted movie is back to square one. As of today however, the project has a new director and writer in Neil Burger.
Neil Burger doesn't have a long list of filmography on his resume but he did write and direct three projects himself, including 2006's The Illusionist with Edward Norton. He also made a splash earlier this summer, directing Bradley Cooper in Limitless.
According to Variety, Burger offered his own take on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune which producers Ari Arad, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner were impressed by so now, Sony/Columbia Pictures is moving ahead with that. We don't know what Burger's plan is or how it relates to the game series so we'll have to wait and see if it's "true to the source" or something a little different.
With Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception releasing this fall, exclusive to the PlayStation 3, Sony is serious about getting to work on expanding the franchise ASAP and we can expect the Uncharted movie to release in the summer of 2013.
The big question now becomes, who will star as Nathan Drake? We're rather certain it won't be Mark Wahlberg so will the studio go with someone bankable or someone younger and not yet on the A-List? There will no doubt be requests for fan-favorite Nathan Fillion as well so share your suggestions in the comments.
On another note, Avi Arad, the once-Marvel-CEO, is clearly showing his push towards the video game movie genre. Along with acting as a producer on most upcoming Marvel Studios projects, he's involved with adaptations of inFamous, Mass Effect and Lost Planet. Let's hope he can usher in a shift of the tide towards quality adaptations like he helped do for comic book adaptations.