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Naughty Dog’s Uncharted video game series is a breakneck cinematic experience modeled after the Indiana Jones films, Romancing the Stone and a pinch of Han Solo’s attitude. They make for outstanding watches, already, and would provide a ton of great content for a film franchise. Now, it sounds like the pieces (once again) are falling into place for an Uncharted movie adaptation.
THR reports that Sony has tapped Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal to polish an existing screenplay for an Uncharted movie that Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) will direct. Attaching Boal’s voice to the project might mean a shift in tone. While the video games aren’t exactly outright comedies, there’s far more humor in thelead character of treasure-seeker Nathan Drake than you can find in Boal’s screenplays for The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty. Will Uncharted look like this?
What Boal does bring, however, is a terrific sense of military realism, and an ear for combat dialogue. In projects past, he has been paired with a brilliant technical director Kathryn Bigelow, so it might have been hard to see where his influences stopped and hers began. But the idea behind the Uncharted should be strong enough to get this adventure-seeking franchise off the ground, possibly giving Sony a new series from which they can wring sequels.
The plot of the Uncharted movie is unclear, according to THR, though it likely will pull from stories seen in the game. Nathan Drake is a descendent of Sir Francis Drake, and he often uses clues on the pages of the late explorer’s diary to unlock secrets on his globe-trotting quests. The games are beautifully crafted adventures, with amazing, cinematic graphics and invigorating cut scenes. Like this:
Hopefully the game can be half as exciting as that. The movie’s journey through pre-production has been equally harrowing. At one point, director David O. Russell wanted to take a crack at Uncharted, with his The Fighter and Three Kings co-star, Mark Wahlberg, playing Drake. But that fell apart. The THR story notes that Sony pitched the idea to Chris Pratt, but he passed. Finding the right Nathan Drake will be a major obstacle. Hopefully they’ll call Frank Grillo. But with a screenplay in motion, expect that announcement to drop, and soon.