Uncharted film director responds to fan complaints

In a recent interview with SlashFilm, Uncharted film writer/director David O. Russell was asked how he felt when fans of the series "bitch" about his treatment of the franchise, despite the script being unfinished. Russell admitted that he isn't a "hardcore" gamer, but said that he has "played the game a bunch of times," and respects the material.

"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," said Russell.

"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."

Russell may have slipped up in the eyes of fans when he stated that the Uncharted games aren't about "a narrative embracing you emotionally," but we sense that his intention wasn't to imply that the games are mindless shoot-em-ups, but to emphasize the difference between storytelling in games and in films. We'll let that gaffe slide for now for now, but as he admits in the interview, there aren't many game-based movies which do justice to their franchises, or stand on their own as excellent films, so our cynicism isn't unfounded.

The film is confirmed as an adaptation of the first game, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and tentatively bears the same title. It's in pre-production, and according to Mark Wahlberg, who is rumored to be taking the lead role, it may begin shooting as early as this summer.

Perhaps Russell can be trusted with the material, but as with every game adaptation, he's got a tough crowd to please. And, despite his inoffensive performance in Russell's 2010 Oscar nominee The Fighter, Wahlberg's involvement doesn't exactly raise hopes, especially when Nathan Fillion was the fan favorite for the role.

Feb 22, 2011

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer