Uncharted movie script is R-rated with "four of the biggest, f***in' craziest action sequences" says Joe Carnahan

After spending years buried in development, it sounds like the Uncharted movie is finally going to make it to the big screen thanks to writer Joe Carnahan and Stranger Things director Shawn Levy. We heard Carnahan’s script was “a beast” last month, and in a new interview with ComingSoon, the writer has gone into some more detail about what fans can expect when Nathan Drake finally blasts into theaters.

“When I wrote Uncharted, I didn’t spare the rod,” Carnahan explained. “I wrote it the way the video game is,” he said, citing the fact that characters swear in the game and promising that he didn’t write the script to be a PG-13 movie (a rating he calls a “cop out”). He also said the film contains “four of the biggest, f***in’ craziest action sequences I think I’ve ever written”, ones that take inspiration from the game franchise’s set pieces, but don’t copy them exactly. “There’s no point in just transposing them to film, you’ve gotta come up with new sh*t, so that’s what I did.”

When asked about the seemingly inevitable comparisons to Indiana Jones (a franchise with its own new movie in the works), the writer said those comparisons were admittedly part of the draw to Uncharted, but encouraged everyone to think of it more as a buddy movie because Drake is side by side with Sully, his friend and mentor.

There are also important differences between Nathan Drake and Indiana Jones that Carnahan wants to stress. “Drake is not a guy who likes museums,” he said. “He thinks they’re all crooked. Curators are “thieves,” the guys in the Louvre and The Met are thieves and despicable. He’s a treasure hunter, not an archaeologist. He doesn’t have Indiana Jones’ idea of pure faith in archaeology.” He went out of his way to draw distinctions between the two in his screenplay, including an Indy reference in which Drake says, “They’re gonna be looking at real booby traps, not rolling boulder bullsh*t.”

Carnahan also gave credit where it was due to game writer Amy Hennig, praising her for making Drake “very much an anti-Indiana Jones” and pointing to the fact that Drake and Sully abandon the female lead, Elena, after a pirate attack in the first game. “Indiana Jones would never do something like that,” he said.

Something to keep in mind here: Carnahan is a much more outspoken Hollywood personality than director Shawn Levy, and ultimately, Levy is going to be the one bringing this movie to life. And since making movies is a business, there’s still a chance the studio could run their numbers and put pressure on Levy to give them a PG-13 cut. I’m thrilled about the prospects of Carnahan’s script, and I’m hoping it aligns with Levy’s vision and that the director will be willing to go to bat for this script in order to retain what makes it so promising.

The film does not have a release date at the moment, but we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the latest news as it comes in.

Image: Naughty Dog

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.