Fans have not been happy with the plot details and casting David O. Russell‘s big screen adaptation of the popular video game  Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Not only did Russell seem like an odd choice as a director (the closest thing to an action movie he’s directed is Three Kings), but Mark Wahlberg seemed like an odd choice to play the lead character Nathan Drake (fans have been campaigning for Nathan Fillion for years now, and fans have even confronted O Russell in person about the casting announcement). And then comes the rumors that the director is interested in having Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci play the father and uncle of Drake, and a choice quote in the LA Times from the filmmaker (who was half way through writing a draft of the script):

This idea really turns me on that there’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice… We’ll have the family dynamic, which we’ve done in a couple of movies now… And then you take that and put it on the bigger, more muscular stage of an international action picture, but also put all the character stuff in it. That’s a really cool idea to me.

So in other words, O. Russell’s plans seem to stray far from the source material. As you can imagine, fans of the game series were not happy. Well, the director of the latest Uncharted 3 video game says otherwise… but what does he know?

Video game blog Joystiq interviewed Uncharted 3 game director Justin Richmond at a recent press event, and  when the “family dynamic” comments were brought up, he responded:

“First of all, all that stuff was denied by David O. Russell,” Richmond said. “He actually called us up and was like, ‘I don’t know what these guys are talking about.’”

It’s not uncommon for filmmakers to deny Internet or newspaper reports, but not when the report comes from a Los Angeles Times interview with the director. Seems a bit odd. On top of that, Richmond says that Wahlberg is not yet signed to play Drake. Here is the quote from the Joystiq article:

And Mark Wahlberg isn’t anywhere near to being confirmed to play Nathan Drake either — it’s just Hollywood scuttlebutt, apparently. Still, I dutifully told Richmond that the Joystiq Biomass had chosen, and Nathan Fillion has our vote. Message received, Richmond responded.

It’s also not uncommon for Hollywood tradepapers to report that an actor is “in talks” for a role, well before any contract is signed. Wahlberg produced and starred in O. Russell’s The Fighter, which is currently one of the much talked about films of this award season. While Wahlberg isn’t signed, I have no doubt that David wants Mark for the role. Remember, Mark told MTV the following:

That’s who he wants to write the parts for. I talked to Pesci about it and I know David’s people have talked to [Robert De Niro]… I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It’s not going to be the watered-down version, that’s for sure.

So not only has Wahlberg confirmed that he is the front runner for the role, but also confirmed David’s plans to introduce Drake’s family into the mix. So who is telling the truth – Mark Wahlberg and David O Russell or the director of the Uncharted 3 video game? I’m guessing its the former…

via: Geeks of Doom

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