After many years of false starts and a lot of creative people trying their hand at getting it done, Sony's Uncharted movie finally looks to be in good shape. Production is expected to start this summer now that the most recent draft of the script, which was written by The Grey director Joe Carnahan, is finished. Specific details on the movie have been a little sparse, but now the writer has opened up about his take on the popular video game and he didn't pull any punches. It looks like Uncharted is going to be an R-rated, full on crazy action movie.
Joe Carnahan recently spoke with Comingsoon about his script for Uncharted, which he reportedly finished last month. When talking about his approach, he revealed that the movie was definitely not written as a PG-13 version and that he wrote it the way he felt it needed to be done. Here is what he had to say.
"When I wrote "Uncharted," I didn't spare the rod. I wrote it the way the video game is. They swear in the game, they're kinda foul-mouthed and I kept all that stuff intact and I definitely didn't write it as a "PG-13" movie, I wrote it the way that movie should be written."
Movies like Deadpool and the upcoming Logan have proved that big-budget, highly-anticipated movies can work with an R-rating. Many very popular action movies over the years, such as The Matrix and Predator, were R-rated and were very successful as well. Carnahan went so far as to say that PG-13 is a "cop out." So don't expect that to change down the road, unless Sony throws out his script. One of the biggest comparisons that is always made when talking about Uncharted is with Indiana Jones. When asked about how he worked around essentially remaking the classic Harrison Ford action-adventure in the process, he shed some light on how this movie will be different, while also giving us a window into what the Uncharted movie will be like. Here is how he explained it.
"Listen, I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan, which was one of my interests in it and you have to remember you've got Sully as well, so it's more of a buddy situation than just Drake solo. You have this kind of Hope & Crosby, "Road to Morocco" kind of thing, so it's not a straight Indy lift. Drake is not a guy who likes museums. He thinks they're all crooked. Curators are "thieves," the guys in the Louvre and The Met are thieves and despicable. He's a treasure hunter, not an archaeologist. He doesn't have Indiana Jones' idea of pure faith in archaeology. That's not the way he thinks. It differentiates, and in the script there are deliberate differentiations. He has a line where he says, "They're gonna be looking at real booby traps, not rolling boulder bullsh*t." (laughs) ["Raiders of the Lost Ark"] is still arguably my favorite movie of all-time, but it was necessary to create those distinctions. I think Amy Hennig did it when she wrote the game. She made Drake very much an anti-Indiana Jones, you know? Don't forget, for that first game after that pirate attack, Drake and Sully leave Elena behind, they dump her. Indiana Jones would never do something like that. That's a rogue act, so she was declaring very early on who that guy was. He was not Jones, he was not to be confused with that guy."
It is clear that Joe Carnahan knows the source material well but, perhaps more importantly, it sounds like he did what he felt was best for the movie. He clearly isn't afraid to ruffle feathers, as evidenced by the recent announcement that he will be remaking The Raid with Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Frank Grillo. It turns out that Sony and Naughty Dog, the video game company behind Uncharted, felt the same way and pretty much let him do what he wanted with it. That resulted in some seriously crazy action, according to Carnahan.
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"No, they let me kinda do my thing. I probably wrote four of the biggest, f***in' craziest action sequences I think I've ever written in that movie. I used the Uncharted games as a template but not using any one specifically, because those sequences have already been done beautifully. There's no point in just transposing them to film, you've gotta come up with new sh*t, so that's what I did. It was a great challenge but it was a lot of fun."
Hollywood has yet to crack the code on video game movies, but Joe Carnahan is certainly saying all of the right things. The next and most important question becomes, who will play Nathan Drake? Hopefully, we'll find out soon enough, but Mark Wahlberg has already pretty much taken himself out of the running and fan favorite Nathan Fillion is probably a bit too old at this point. Sony has hired Real Steel director and Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy to direct Uncharted. Unfortunately, Carnahan is tied up with projects like Bad Boys 3, which are preventing him from directing the movie as well. Sony has yet to set a new release date for Uncharted after pulling the movie from their 2017 release schedule, but if the movie does in fact shoot this summer, expect to see it land sometime in 2018.