If you love video games and hate David O. Russell, then boy do I have some good news for you. You might have to help me on this one, I don’t really know video games, and I’m not sure what “Uncharted” is all about. But it was my understanding from being around a lot of movie buzz that fans weren’t too happy with Mark Wahlberg starring as Uncharted’s protagonist Nathan Drake. And I also heard some rumblings that O. Russell was taking the property in his own direction and not paying much heed to the source material. While that might have made a good movie, it wouldn’t have done much for video game fans. They need not worry though, because O. Russell is out, Limitless director Neil Burger is in, and it looks like this entire video game to movie adaptation process is starting over.
While doing a junket to promote the release of Limitless on home video, Burger fielded a couple of questions about Uncharted that got snuck in by We Got This Covered. The big news that he dropped is that Wahlberg is out, O. Russell’s script is out, and they’re starting over with everything. Burger said, “We’re re-writing the script from scratch, and I’m just jumping into that literally right now, about to close the deal and leap off. Until the screenplay is written you never know who’s going to be acting in it or not. But there are a lot of good actors out there who even look like Nathan Drake and who could do it.”
Why is Burger changing everything about the project? Because he’s a fan of the video game itself, so he wants to stay true to it. He continued, “I love the project, I think it’s a great adventure and it’s a wild insane ride…the game is and the movie will be. I mean it has pretty great character at its core, Nathan is a bit of a con man, a hustler…knows his stuff, ballsy…it’s great.” Despite not knowing much about the game, I think this is the right approach to take. Why adapt something if you’re going to change it? If David O. Russel wants to make a movie with Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro, and Joe Pesci, why does he have to call it Uncharted? Leave that to somebody who actually has some passion for the original product and will take care in adapting it. Hats off to Neil Burger for this one.