Just because you have the rights to turn a popular, mega-selling video game into a feature film that doesn’t mean production will be smooth sailing. Take Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, for instance. Since the first game’s release in 2007, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and its numerous sequels have sold more than 17 million copies worldwide. And yet a movie based on the action-adventure series has been in the works for almost as long.
In 2008, Sony first started development on a film adaptation following Nate Drake, a descendant of the pirate Sir Francis Drake, as he searches for the lost treasure of El Dorado. With the help of his friends, while overcoming numerous adversaries including rival pirates and various creatures, Drake also tries to learn the treasure’s secrets. (Think Indiana Jones or National Treasure for what the movie might be like, but then add in some mutated descendants of the original Spanish colonists who are out for blood.)
Previous writers for the film have included everyone from Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly (Sahara) to David Guggenheim (Safe House) and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook). Husband and wife duo Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (National Treasure) were even hired to re-write the script at one point. Meanwhile, actors considered for the lead role have included Mark Wahlberg and – more recently – Chris Pratt.
According to THR, Pratt has since passed on the project, but in the meantime, Uncharted has found a new writer. Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) has been brought in to work on the script, which is finally expected to begin shooting in early 2015 under director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) for a summer 2016 release.
At first glance, Boal may seem like an odd choice to work on Uncharted, but the writer is said to be a big fan of the video game. And after so many people have worked on different versions of the script, what the project really needs is someone with the passion and skill to make sure its picture-perfect before filming.
That certainly seems to be the point of bringing Boal onboard. Because last we heard, Gordon was saying the movie’s writers had “just got the script to a really good place.” It seems all it needs now is some finishing touches.
Then there’s the fact that Gordon still needs to find a leading man (and a leading lady to star opposite him). A release date for the film was announced just four months ago, so it may be too early to think it could be pushed back. That means we should hear about more casting decisions any day now as pre-production winds down in anticipation for filming to begin in the new year.
But what do you think about this latest news, Screen Rant readers? Could Boal be what the film needs to up the ante? Are you sad Pratt wasn’t interested? Who do you want for the lead role? Let us know in the comments.
Uncharted opens in U.S. theaters on June 10th, 2016.