As video games become a bigger and bigger part of the entertainment business, they have become ripe for cinematic adaptation. This year we will see two major game franchises, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed, hit the big screen. However, one game series that seems ripe for the movie treatment is Sony's Uncharted. A movie adaptation has been in development for some time, however, the script is still in development. Many fans of the games are actually afraid of seeing a movie made because they don’t think it’s possible to do it justice. According to the man behind the games, it can be done, as long as they focus on what’s most important to Nathan Drake: his friends.
Game designer and creative director of the Uncharted game series, Neil Druckmann, was asked by IGN about the status of the oft-rumored Uncharted movie. Druckmann says that the Naughty Dog studio has not been too involved in development of the movie adaptation, saying that Sony comes in from time to time to get direction on the script. When that happens, however, they are always instructed to focus on the key relationships of the games, between lead character Nathan Drake, his friend and mentor Sully, and his on again, off again romance with Elena.
The most important part to get right is Nathan Drake, Nathan Drake's relationship with Elena and Nathan Drake's relationship with Sullivan. If you don't get that right, I don't think the film's going to work. If you get that core right, there's a chance it could work.
It makes sense that Uncharted would be looked at as a potential movie. The lead character of Nathan Drake owes more than a little of his character as a treasure hunting adventurer to Indiana Jones. However, while Indiana Jones tends to swap out his traveling companions from one movie to the next, Nathan Drake has always kept his friends close. Victor "Sully" Sullivan took in Nathan Drake as a young boy and the relationship evolved over time from surrogate father to partner and friend. While Elena Fisher hasn’t been the only woman in Drake’s life over the course of the game series, she has been the one who has been there consistently.
Nathan Drake is most loved by fans for his smirk in the face of death attitude, but that only works if he has people to play off of. It’s the interplay between the characters that makes the games great. Considering that there have been a number of false starts for the movie over the years, you’d think that the studio might start listening to the developers a little more, yet the fact that they’re still working on the script implies this may not be the case.
Do you agree that the relationships are key to making an Uncharted movie successful? Would you like to see this movie made, or should they just give it up?