It’s been almost a year since we’ve heard anything about an adaptation of the hit gaming series, Uncharted. Director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) seemed particularly interested at one point, but then he dropped out, his replacement Neil Burger (Limitless) dropped out, and writing duties were handed over to National Treasure scribes Marianne and Cormac Wibberley. Uncharted fans don’t seem to mind a movie, which is a bit strange since the games are basically very long movies where you occasionally press buttons to either climb, do cover-based shooting, or quicktime events. While bringing in the Wibberleys seemed like a sensible choice considering their past work, Naughty Dog also approached an unlikely duo on multiple occasions. According to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the video game studio asked them on multiple occasions to adapt the game.
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“They’re constantly asking me and Evan to make the Uncharted movie,” Rogen told IGN while they were setting up to interview the pair for his new movie, This Is the End. Co-writer and director Goldberg added “For like four years now, they’ve been like ‘Make an Uncharted movie for us,’ but it’s just going to be Indiana Jones.” For those unfamiliar with the series, Goldberg’s not far off. You play as Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who is racing against a bad guy to reach a fabled city like El Dorado or Shangri-La (as opposed to just one artifact), but there are a few unique touches like having a partner and a female co-star who’s not just a one-and-done presence. There are also the gameplay parts that require lots of climbing and shooting, but those are the equivalent of set pieces albeit very impressive ones.
I’m slightly surprised that Naughty Dog were given a say in the matter when the project belongs to Sony, although the film studio has a longstanding relationship with the comic duo and has distributed every film Rogen both wrote and starred in (Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, and This Is the End). Aside from not wanting to copy to Indiana Jones, Rogen and Goldberg seem pretty much done with tentpole films after their experience on Green Hornet with Rogen telling the WTF podcast [via The Playlist] “a fucking nightmare” and “We can’t make a really edgy fun movie for our types of people for that amount of money. There’s just too much skepticism that it draws. ‘Mo money, ‘mo problems. You can’t take risks, [the studio] wouldn’t let us take risks anyway. And that makes it very hard to make a movie that’s exciting.”