After six years of being stuck in development hell, Sony's highly-anticipated Uncharted is finally moving forward in the right direction. Last week, Shawn Levy stepped in to direct, with Joe Carnahan writing the script. Joe Carnahan revealed in a recent interview that he met with Shawn Levy, while teasing that the big screen Nathan Drake will be the antithesis to Indiana Jones.
Collider caught up with Joe Carnahan, who signed on to write the script in July. The filmmaker revealed at the time that he would love to direct Uncharted in a "perfect world," but he is only set to write the script, since he is currently set to both write and direct Bad Boys For Life. Joe Carnahan explains how he caught up with Shawn Levy last weekend and that they discussed their approach to this iconic video game character. Here's what he had to say about how his version of Nathan Drake is very "anti-Indy."
"I can tell you that Shawn Levy and I sat down last weekend, he has fantastic knowledge. 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 of the Lost Ark], 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 [his sidekick] Sully are not good guys but they're better than the bad guys. It's a game, you know, they're certainly rogues, and certainly don't have a problem, even in the first game he just kind of [dumps journalist Elena Fisher] and it's interesting. 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. Too much sweat equity in that one; years of trying to do Uncharted. I'm flattered that these guys wanted me to write it. It's a hell of a responsibility and hell of an opportunity and I don't want to squander it now."
David O. Russell was initially set to direct six years ago, with Mark Wahlberg being eyed to star, but they both eventually left the project. Before Shawn Levy came aboard, Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) was the last director attached, with writers such as Mark Boal, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley and David Guggenheim working on the script throughout the years. When asked about what elements from the game his version will include, Joe Carnahan had this to say.
"Certainly the signet ring. The harvest magnet, 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 kept some characters I like and kind of reset them within that world so there'll be names and familiar faces and so on, but they won't necessarily be what they were in the game, which I think is important, you have to do that, create amalgams. 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."
The video game series centers on Nathan Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, who goes on a quest to find the lost city of El Dorado. Along the way, he runs into a rival treasure hunter, who must team up to fend off creatures, mutated Spaniards and Nazis. Sony doesn't have a release date set for Uncharted yet, but our report from last week indicated the studio was putting this on the fast track.