David O Russell Talks Uncharted
He's planning a family affair
The news broke last week that Mark Wahlberg would be playing Nathan Drake, (the screams of the Nathan Fillion fans are still echoing), and now director David O Russell has spilled a few beans to the LA Times on his plans for Uncharted, his take on the tomb-raiding videogame franchise.
Uncharted is coming together so quickly that Russell calls it "a locomotive". He says he's currently about half way through the writing process on his screenplay, and goes some way towards explaining Wahlberg's revelation that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are being courted to play, respectively, Drake's father and uncle.
"The idea that really turns me on is that there's a family that's a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities," says Russell. "They deal with heads of state and heads of museums and mete out justice. We'll have the family dynamic, which we've done in a couple of movies now [Flirting With Disaster, The Fighter] and then you take that and put it on the bigger, more muscular stage of an international action picture, but also put all the character stuff in it. That's a really cool idea to me."
Despite the cries of the fanboys, if Uncharted is to break the curse of the videogame adaptation, it will need to be significantly remoulded and expanded for the cinema. As smart as the games are, as funny as the dialogue is, as likeable as Drake is, simply slapping the games on the screen would result in a plot-token / shoot people / plot-token / shoot people dynamic that we've seen and complained about before (not least in the Tomb Raider films).
If you still have misgivings about the whole project, cast your mind back to Three Kings (itself an action treasure-hunt of sorts, also starring Wahlberg) and bask in the glow of optimism. If this was being set up as a wisecracking CGI Da Vinci Code with guns, you probably wouldn't like that either.