We had a great deal of fun debating over which actor would lead David O’Russell’s film adaptation of the popular PS3 video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune with Nathan Fillion and Joe Flanigan seemingly the two fanboy choices but in all honesty we had Mark Wahlberg penned in for this part from day one.

Unsurprisingly, he has announced today that he will indeed lead the film.

After all – Wahlberg has worked with his close friend on Three Kings, I Heart Huckabee’s and the Oscar buzzed The Fighter - and always seemed an obvious fit to play Nathan Drake, a more agile Indiana Jones treasure hunter or the male version of Lara Croft, basically.

But in Columbia casting Mark Wahlberg, this brings up something I’ve mentioned before in relation to the actor. Here’s an excerpt from my article debating who would make a good replacement for Matt Damon in the new Jason Bourne movies, where I mentioned Wahlberg’s negatives;

Despite starring in many high-profile actioners, the many attempts to build a franchise around Mark Wahlberg have all failed miserably. Fox aren’t scrambling around to make a ‘Max Payne‘ sequel, Paramount won’t ever commission a ‘Shooter 2‘, and we never did see ‘The Brazilian Job‘ did we? Outside of the action genre, ‘Planet of the Apes 2‘ never happened either.

In fact, no Wahlberg movie has ever won a sequel as far as I can see.

Many have tried to mold the former Calvin Klein underwear model into a franchise star, who given his popularity, his looks, his flexibility to do action/drama as good as anyone – it is kind of baffling that he hasn’t managed to secure himself that long running series like Matt Damon did. Perhaps he has just been the victim of bad luck/bad deals – but still he was brave enough to lead remakes of two popular classics in The Italian Job and Planet of the Apes, and appear in the Max Payne video game movie – and he keeps coming back for more and trying again.

Wahlberg says about working with with O’Russell again;

“David is one of the best writer/directors I’ve ever worked with,” said Wahlberg. “The idea that he has is just insane. So hopefully we’ll be making that movie this summer.”

He then confirmed Roger Freidman’s previous scoop (which I actually pegged as bullshit initially but shows what I know) that frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were being courted for supporting roles;

“I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It’s not going to be the watered-down version, that’s for sure.”

I’ve recently become hooked on this video game as it basically pushes all my favourite genre buttons – explorations to the most extreme corners of the world, supernatural mysteries and of course the Nazi’s!

The first draft of the screenplay has been written by Conan scribes Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer and the director has been reportedly re-writing it to suit his vision.

So after Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky moved over to the Wolverine franchise after helming an Oscar contender – so to is O’Russell turning to the blockbuster after helming The Fighter. I’m liking this movement from the top helmers moving into blockbuster fare and our summer seasons will surely see the benefit in the years to come!

Could this be the first video game adaptation that will work? Seems like it has the best chance of any with the talent on board here.

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This article was first posted on November 24, 2010