Out of all the info about the Uncharted movie, revealed in Sony Pictures' leaked emails, this line about Emma Stone hands down wins everything:
That was from Arad Productions' Avi Arad to Sony's Amy Pascal and pretty much sells the movie to me. That, and mention of Chris Hemsworth in the running for Drake. He may not look the part, but if he can make Thor a warm, loveable character I'll give him a go. Even Channing Tatum is mentioned at one point.
Now, while you consider an Uncharted movie with Hemsworth and Stone, let me give you this spoiler warning that the more you read, the more you'll spoil. I'll keep the script stuff at the bottom but keep going and you'll hit plot stuff.
Don't care? Good, then we'll continue.
One interesting thing is that the people involved seem genuinely excited about the film. They seem to love the idea and progress it's making. Here's one of the earliest mails between Colombia boss Doug Belgrad and former Sony boss Amy Pascal, mentioning the project back in July 2014:
"Uncharted is much improved. I'm getting very excited about it. We need to make it visually original and differentiate it from other swashbuckling adventure but it's really fun. And the illicit antiquities trade is an original and contemporary backdrop. Let's lock up wahlberg and make it next spring. It ticks all the boxes."
Still not keen on the Wahlberg idea, but he's a consistent forerunner throughout casting discussions.
In another mail, there's a list of films called "The future if all the money dried up today". Uncharted's mentioned, alongside Bond, Jump Street and Ghostbusters, so it's not sounding like a film they're planning to just crap out.
It's also encouraging to see mentions of Naughty Dog's Even Wells and Neil Druckmann being mentioned during consultations. An email chain called "The Gender Divide in Games" originated from Druckman, saying "from the co-creator of The Last Of Us. Interesting increase in percentage of console gamers up in adult women". That has the studio looking into gender to see if there "may be more women out there anticipating the films than we might have thought". Later, a mail adds "we need to really understand the audience for the movie and what kind of movie they think they want".
Wahlberg, Hemsworth and even Chris Pratt are all in the running at one point. There are several mentions of passing scripts to Hemsworth, and even a reply from Pratt turning an offer down:
"Hi Amy, I wanted to touch base regarding Uncharted. I'd love to work with you guys one day on something. Won't be this one. Thank you for considering me though. It just didn't grab me. Let's do something else one day together. Sincerely CP"
There's also some lengthy discussion on various script points:
1: LOVE OPENING CHILDHOOD SET UP
8:OPENING ACTION SCENE IS FANTASTIC
9: WHY DO WE STILL CALL THOES SHIRTS WIFE BEATERS SHOULD WE STOP DOING THAT AS A SOCIETY
14: WHAT IS USUALLY A GENERIC SCENE WITH THE BAD GUY IS REALLY GOOD HERE
27: really GOOD THE INTRO OF EL DORADO MAKES YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN THE PLOT
34: GOOD SCENE WITH ELANA MUCH BETTER WRITING....I LIKE THIS MOVIE ...ITS THE KIND OF MOVIE NO ONE MAKES ANYMORE BUT IM NOT SURE HOW TO CATEGORIZE IT I GUESS NATIONAL TREASURE IS THE CLOSET IN TONE
59: CAL TRACING THING GOOD
63: PICTURE OF SHIP AS MAP OS GREAT WHO IS THIS WRITER?
70: HOW MANY MOVIES DO WE HAVE ABOUT SKEPTORS ...(OR SWORDS )IN CASTLES....MOTU, DODGE AND TWIST,CANDY LAND AND NOW THIS ........ 78:I DONT LIKE ROMAN SLAPPING NAVARRO
87: ONLY THING IN NATIONAL TREASURE THERE WAS A GREATER GOOD WHAT IS HTE GREATER GOOD HERE OR IS IT JUST A CAPER FILM
98: ALL GOOD TILL WE GET TO THE AMAZON AND FATIGUE STARTS TO SET IN
Another mention assessing the script adds: "It's not perfect, but it's in really good shape and the 3rd act finally works (still need to tweak the Infected/Zombies, but it works pretty darn well)". The "opening childhood set up" refers to a part of the script showing a 9-year-old Nate travelling with his archaeologist parents.
There's also some really interesting stuff from Horrible Bosses director Seth Gorden with his pre-vis trailer and animatic mock up for an opening scene involving a plane sliding down a mountain. That all comes out in a follow up mail between him and the studio, where he says, "It was such a pleasure meeting you all today about this movie. I hope my passion for this material is apparent in how much I dug into the script, but suffice it to say: I LOVE THIS PROJECT."
The mails then talk about Wahlberg seeing the trailer and quoting him as saying "that's exactly the kind of movie Mark wants to do". Although he does then make changes to to the script, pushing back Sully's character and making it more of a 'Drake' movie than a buddy movie. That, I definitely don't like the sound of.
You can go through all the the mails emails here if you want but be warned there's 12 pages of threads, answers, forwards AND OCCASIONAL ALL CAPS ENTHUSIASM.