Uncharted Movie Gets New Director, Will It Make A Difference?July 9, 2011
Neil Berger is set to direct the Uncharted movie adaptation. Will anyone care?
It looks like the Uncharted movie is back in business, as today a new director was announced. Neil Burger will take the helm of the film adaptation to one of the most successful and critically praised video games of all time.
Recently David O. Russell (The Fighter) was attached as director, and he had all but cast Mark Wahlberg in Nathan Drake’s well-worn shoes. While The Fighter was a great film, one that I very much enjoyed, he had some crazy ideas for the Uncharted film adaptation, and not crazy in a good way.
I could go along with Marky Mark as Nathan Drake, as he has proven himself a great actor despite some bad movie choices. However, Russell wanted to cast Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci as part of Drake’s ” family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice,” as Russell, who very apparently has never played the Uncharted games, stated. That is some hot garbage that I cannot abide.
Many comparisons have been made between Indiana Jones and Nathan Drake. And Uncharted is basically just a better version of Tomb Raider, save for the fact that we have to look at a guy’s ass instead of Lara’s the whole game. The first Tomb Raider was one of the only video game adaptations I could stomach, as it stayed true enough to the source material and had an actress, in Angelina Jolie, who effectively showcased the game heroine’s badassery. Indiana Jones, of course, is a legendary series with heart pumping action, a great hero, and an engaging story and dialogue.
Obviously, Russell was keen on completely scrapping what had been set forth by the games, which makes no sense to me. These games are extremely successful for a reason. Many people who play them will tell you that the Uncharted games are better than most Hollywood blockbusters already, so why fix something that is far from broken? Hell, work with Naughty Dog directly on the script! Since Indiana Jones 4 completely failed at being a good movie, let Uncharted carry the Indy torch. Get a new, young actor who can carry this franchise through its inevitable (if they get it right) trilogy.
Video game adaptations have a stigma attached to them which needs to finally be erased. Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time, though it was not as bad as most would like to claim, failed at finally breaking that stigma and showing why we as video game players love these franchises, worlds and characters. It now falls to Uncharted to break the curse, and if it does, it could be remembered a quarter century from now as one of the greatest action adventure movies of all time, not just one of the greatest video game adaptations. If Neil Burger and his team can successfully recreate Nathan Drake and the rest of the Uncharted formula onscreen, moviegoers will love him just like all of us do.