uncharted movie

UPDATED: It seems that Joe Carnahan consulted with Amy Hennig (the head writer and creative director on the first three Uncharted games who is no longer with Naughty Dog) and Nolan North (the actor who plays Nathan Drake in the games) on the screenplay. Take from that what you will.

The original article follows below.

After years of wandering through the deserts of development hell, it’s starting to look like Sony’s Uncharted movie may become a reality. Shawn Levy is planning to direct, and Joe Carnahan has finished the screenplay, which he says will be R-rated and full of big, crazy action. However, there’s one group apparently not involved in the film at all: developer Naughty Dog, who oversaw the creation of the entire Uncharted video game series, has no idea what’s going on with the movie.

It’s not uncommon for the creators of characters to be completely left by the wayside when Hollywood sets out to make a film, but this is a unique case. After all, the Uncharted games were created by Naughty Dog as exclusives for Sony’s PlayStation 4 console – there is an existing relationship there. And then there’s the fact that Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann actually wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of the developer’s masterpiece The Last of Us(which is currently embroiled in a separate production hell of its own), suggesting the desire for a personal touch.

However, Druckmann revealed that neither himself or anyone else at the company knows what Sony is doing with the Uncharted movie. When a fan noted that game’s “lighthearted action adventure” tone didn’t warrant an R-rating, Druckmann responded with this tweet:

There are two conversations to be had here. First, should a video game developer be involved in a film adaptation of one of their games? Would that make for a better movie? And second, is Uncharted really a PG-13 experience? I opened to the floor /Film’s Peter Sciretta and Ethan Anderton to discuss this matter:

The Conversation

Peter: It does seem interesting that studios keep making video game movies without any involvement of the video game creators. I mean, it looked like Warcraft was different. During the pre-release, there seemed to be a big sell that “Blizzard’s involved!” But after the failure of the film, I’ve seen some unofficial comments that seem to suggest they weren’t as involved.

Ethan: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too…I think that this might be the culprit in video game movies failing.

Jacob: I find the disconnect over tone to be the more interesting conversation here. The Uncharted games are violent as hell, but bloodless. Wouldn’t an R-rated version be more responsible? More honest?

Peter: You think it would be better R-rated? I feel like the games are filled with nameless henchman who get killed off rather easily, without much graphic violence.

Jacob: That’s what has always troubled me about the games on some level (and let’s be clear: I love these games). There’s sooooo much violence, with no responsibility. No one addresses the fact that Drake is a mass-murderer! One moment, Nathan Drake is killing 20 guys, and then he’s just wisecracking and being a goofball in the next scene. At least an R-rating would acknowledge how weird that is.

Peter: I mean…I see your point, but maybe the video game series should try to do that. I think in adapting the game to a film, you should try to capture the tone and feel of it, and I don’t think going R-rated is it.

Jacob: If they reduced Drake’s body count by 90%, PG-13 would be fine.

Ethan: I’m not necessarily sure I agree with the R-rated angle either. It could easily be like Indiana Jones, which has plenty of violence, but not much blood and what-not.

Jacob: Yeah, but Indy doesn’t gun down hundreds of people with a machine gun on every stage of his adventure.

Peter: I think there are smart ways to get around it: have him not go for head shots, have him shoot a rope to cause a henchman to fall from a ledge and so on.

***

Uncharted finally seems to be happening. Whether Naughty Dog gets the read the screenplay or if it’ll be rated R will be determined eventually.

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