Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 by David Chen
I had the privilege to speak with director David O. Russell last week (Thanks to everyone who submitted questions!). The full audio and transcript of that interview will be up in the next day or two, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share some of David O. Russell’s thoughts on the internet’s response to the fact that he’s directing Uncharted.
I think /Film commenter Jag put it best when he suggested the following question for Russell: “How does it feel to be an academy award nominated and a critically acclaimed director, [who] has to see a bunch of video-game fans (who’ve never made a movie) bitch about ruining Uncharted before he’s even finished the script?” Hit the jump to find out what Russell had to say. [Note that the following excerpts have been slightly edited for clarity.]
I first asked Russell about his relationship to the videogame series, which has a special place in my heart. He commented:
My son plays most of the games in our house, and I will play them with him but I’m not hardcore. I’m not going to present myself as hardcore. But I played the game a bunch of times and I also read as much as I could about the game and I met the game’s creator, Amy Hennig, who’s really cool. I started to brew together what I thought could be a really cool idea that I’d never seen in a film before…Really intense action and really intense family dynamics on a global stage. To grow a game into a movie is an interesting proposition because a game is a very different experience than a movie. You guys are playing the game, and it’s about playing the game. It’s not about a narrative embracing you emotionally. You know what I’m saying? So, I want to create a world that is worthy of a really great film that people want to watch and rewatch, so that’s what I’m working on right now.
I then asked David what he thought of people’s unsolicited suggestions about how he should make the Uncharted film. After all, it’s not like people have been restrained about offering him advice (see above):
Well I’ve had people come up to me after screenings and pitch people they think should play the roles and I think we’ve seen that before with movies like Interview with the Vampire where there was a lot of fans of Anne Rice’s book and there were a lot of strong opinions about how to make it.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m very respectful as far as the core content and sprit of the game, but beyond that it’s my job as a filmmaker to make what I think is going to be an amazing movie. People have to trust that and let that go, I think. There’s not a bunch of movies you can point to that are made from games that are amazing movies, that stand up to time as a franchise or as [individual films]. I personally think it’s really cool when you see that someone like Darren Aronofsky is going to make an X-Men movie or to get someone such as myself to make this picture. You can be guaranteed that it’s going to be real, it’s going to be raw, it’s going to be intense, it’s going to be original, and it’s going to be propulsive. And those are all the things that I want when I go to watch a movie like that.
I think he makes a good point about the fact that history is littered with failed video game adaptations. Maybe Uncharted fans (myself included) would be better off just letting him do his thing and stop worrying about fidelity to the game. What do you guys think?