uncharted

Sony has confirmed that David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter) is signed on to write and direct a film based on the PlayStation 3 game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

Back in June 2009, Sony hired screenwriter Kyle Ward to pen an adaptation, but Ward’s deal fell apart at the last minute because Sony were unwilling to wait around, possibly as long as a year, as Ward was contractually obligated to pen Hitman 2. Sony then went to the writing team Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, whose screenwriting credits include Sahara, the horrible adaptation of A Sound of Thunder, and the upcoming Dylan Dog adaptation Dead of Night and the Marcus Nispel remake of Conan. It was first rumored that Russell might direct Uncharted back in May, but the LA Times reported in August that Russell, the studio and the producers were unable to come to an agreement about the terms of the film. Sony was reportedly pleased with the script and was even considering getting it ready for the studio’s 2011 summer schedule.

Russ Fischer, who knows much more about video games than I ever will, wrote back in June:

Development of Uncharted isn’t a surprise, as it was explicitly designed in the first place to have the quality of a summer adventure film. The story features Nate Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake. Nate is being shadowed by journalist Elena Fisher as he searches for the coffin of his forefather. When found, the object contains a diary that seems to point to El Dorado, and Nate and Elena are soon involved in a run and gun tale featuring pirates, lost gold and mutant humans.

For an idea of the game’s tone, here’s the trailer for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Read the full Sony-issued press release below:

DAVID O. RUSSELL TO WRITE AND DIRECT

“UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE”

CULVER CITY, Calif., October 8, 2010 – David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) has been set to write and direct Columbia Pictures’ Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, an action-adventure based upon the bestselling PlayStation 3 game, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures.  The film will be produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, Ari Arad, and Alex Gartner.

The story follows the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake.

Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, “David is a tremendous choice to take on this film.  He’s equally adept at combining all the classic elements involved in this property: great character development, strong comedy, and amazing action sequences. He has a brilliant vision for this material and we know he will bring his original, unique voice to this adaptation.”

The game, developed by the acclaimed team at Naughty Dog, was one of Sony Computer Entertainment’s best-selling and most critically acclaimed games for the PS3.  Named IGN’s Best Action Game and Best PS3 Game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune sold one million copies in the first 10 weeks of its release at the end of 2007 on its way to moving more than 2.6 (confirm) million copies and spawning a sequel.  That sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was a major commercial and critical success, winning Game of the Year honors from several influential critics, being named the most critically acclaimed game of the year by Metacritic, and selling more than 3.8 million copies worldwide.  Both games are among the all-time best-selling games for the platform.

The project will be overseen at Columbia Pictures by Tolmach and Jonathan Kadin.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation.  SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries.  Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

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