Video game adaptations haven't exactly had a stellar track record (I'm looking at you Uwe Boll), but this piece of promising news is sure to put smiles on the faces of all Uncharted fans out there!
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal - who brought you the riveting political thrillers Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker - is on board to kick-start this movie towards success!
Boal has been signed to the project to polish David Guggenheim's (Safe House) script before it launches into production. Better news still, Boal is said to be a gamer himself and a fan of the Uncharted series, hopefully meaning the excellent source material gets treated with the reverence it deserves!
Ever since players took control of the Indiana Jones-esque adventurer Nathan Drake, a movie version of Uncharted has no doubt been on their minds. Naughty Dog's awesomely cinematic platformer practically looks like an interactive film in motion, so it's perfectly well suited for a killer adaptation!
Unfortunately, the movie has thus far been blighted by pre-production complications, having been in development in one form or another since 2007.
Mark Wahlberg was originally said to play protagonist Nate Drake until he pulled out, along with the project's original director David O. Russell. Searching for a new leading man, Sony approached Chris Platt to portray the intrepid hero, though he declined the role. Limitless director Neil Burger was then called in to replace Russell, before he too left for another film! The movie just couldn't seem to catch a break, so it's excellent to hear Sony is bringing in Oscar-winning pedigree to help out.
The movie will be directed by Seth Gordon, who recently helmed Identity Thief. However, Gordon does have his roots in video games, having launched his career with The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - a compelling documentary detailing the high score arcade machine battles of the 1980's.
So, after a rough start, the much anticipated cinematic adventure is showing genuine promise! If the film sticks closely to the events of the games then audiences can expect a globe-hopping thrill ride, as Nate - descendant of famous explorer Sir Francis Drake - chases valuable ancient artefacts, uncovering remnants of long lost civilisations.
Now my excitement for the Uncharted movie has been restored, let's take a look at some of my favorite moments from the games that would look freakin' awesome on the big screen!
Oh, and beware - spoilers follow...
Epic Train Escape Sequence - Uncharted 2
I find it hard to recall a more enthralling opening to a video game than this one. When you first take control of Drake he's stuck in the middle of a freezing blizzard...hanging precariously from the end of a train...which is itself hanging off the edge of a sheer cliff face!
If that situation doesn't scream 'Hollywood blockbuster movie', I don't know what does.
The Burning Chateau - Uncharted 3
Near the beginning of the third game Nate and his trusty companion Sully are leisurely exploring an abandoned chateau in search of a secret underground tomb dating back to Crusades. That is until they're chased back above ground by a swarm of ancient man-eating spiders and find the chateau has been turned into a fiery inferno by a group of gasoline-armed mercenaries!
The two fight their way out, dodging bullets and flaming debris. I'm thinking The Towering Inferno meets Raiders of the Lost Ark!
Talbot Chase Sequence - Uncharted 3
This manic foot chase through a busy market in Yemen is one of the best moments of the series. Considering just how slick it looks in the game, I'd love to see a live action version! You can watch the chase in full below:
There are tons of epic moments like these in the series, giving Sony a rich source of material to mine for creative inspiration. Let's hope with the talented Boal on board, this adventure will be one to remember!
Filming is due to begin early next year, with Uncharted's prospective release date announced as June 10, 2016.