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Joe Carnahan talks about the Uncharted movie and how it will be Anti-Indiana Jones


Things are now moving ahead on the Uncharted video game. It has been in development hell for a while. David O. Russell was set to direct the film back in 2010. He wanted Mark Wahlberg as Nathan Drake and Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were also rumoured to be in the film. It all ended up falling apart and it didn’t help that Russell didn’t seem to know what Uncharted was all about.

Sony Pictures are fast tracking the project and they have got Shawn Levy (Night At The Museum, Real Steel, Date Night, Stranger Things) to direct. There is now word on who will be playing Nathan Drake or Sully.

Joe Carnahan came onboard and wrote the most recent script and was going to direct until leaving to make Bad Boys for Life with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. However, he is still involved and recently sat down with Collider and talked about the film.

First of all, he spoke about how this will be different to the Indiana Jones films. The motivation between Indy and Nathan is quite different.

Here’s the thing, Shawn is an incredibly bright, incredibly skilled, talented guy, and you sit with him for five minutes and you know and understand why he has the level of success he’s had. I think he understands, we both have tremendous fondness for Raiders, and he wants to, I think Shawn’s capable of doing a lot of things. I can tell you this: what I’ve written is very anti-Indy in the sense of the guy that loves museums and wants to preserve these artifacts. He’s not! He’s a thief and he’s a grifter, and he’s a scourge. He and Sully are not good guys but they’re better than the bad guys. I think it’s gonna be, I honestly think this one’s got a real shot. And I was really glad when Shawn came on because I’m too deep into Bad Boys and I really wanna see that through

He then talked about how it won’t be a direct adaptation of the video games, as that wouldn’t work, but there will be many elements lifted from the games.

I think that, it’s gonna need to be something that exceeds the sum of its parts, you know what I’m saying? It just doesn’t function as a straight lift of the video game. I sat down with Amy [Hening, director of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune] and sat down with [Drake voice actor] Nolan North and sat down with Neil [Druckmann, writer of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune], who created this thing, and took them through what I was doing and what I was thinking of and they loved it. She loved it. She understands too that you can’t be so slavish and devoted to the source material.

It’s just making a great movie and trying to put as much of the game in as you can and the sensibilities of making Drake and Sullivan and so on, and beyond that, just do something original and fun. Roll the dice, like we have to do on anything. There are no assurances, and there certainly are very few hedging your bets when it comes to making movies. So I really believe that. Just be original. Do your best. Try to check the boxes you can, but beyond that don’t get wrapped up.


However, they will be staying true to the character of Nathan Drake.

Certainly the signet ring. Sic Parvis Magna, the whole Francis Drake legend, and his parentage, his lineage. I thought that was important.

You’re dealing with a guy who’s an orphan, and I came at it that way—what’s some of the things that are important to someone who’s an orphan? In the fourth game they dispelled all that, but I thought it’s still kind of an interesting. What excuses would you make about your character if you held to this notion that you were the heir to this great explorer? Your ancestor’s this great dubious, nefarious explorer? If you believed somehow that was your birthright. Were you conning yourself? There’s some interesting character stuff you can do there. That and the insane, the big action stuff.

I can’t imagine fans of Uncharted will be unhappy, at least with the screenplay. And I do think there’s some interesting, again, anti-Indiana Jones stuff going on, looting and pillaging these UNESCO sites and world heritage sites and also these uncharted realms. There’s 3 million shipwrecks all over the world that have never been seen. That to me is fascinating. So there’s a lot of that stuff, and a lot of that’s kinda new and improved, for lack of a better phrase. I think people will dig it, but I can’t imagine. But I’m sure someone’ll hate my guts, but that’s okay, a lot of people hate my guts.

What do you think? Are they on the right track with it? Who would you like to see playing Nathan?

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