/film held an interview over the weekend with acclaimed director David O. Russell, in which he shared his thoughts on the fan backlash concerning his latest project, an adaptation of the beloved video-game series Uncharted - an Indiana Jones treasure hunter or a male version of Lara Croft.
According to Russell, though he is not a ‘hardcore’ gamer, he has played Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune a ‘bunch of times’ with his son and has taken it upon himself to investigate its mythology and meet with its creators, Naughty Dog Studios.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m very respectful as far as the core content and spirit 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.”
Speaking of fans reactions to his proposed alterations concerning the narrative, he illustrated the differing experiences that film and gaming offer the audience;
“To grow a game into a movie is an interesting proposition because a game is a very different experience than a movie,” The Fighter director said. “You guys are playing the game, and it’s about playing the game. It’s not about a narrative embracing you emotionally. 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.”
Needless to say, Russell’s comments will do little to heighten the spirits of the gaming community, as they have found themselves consistently fooled by the film industry ever since the Super Mario Bros. movie abomination in 1993. His consistent pedaling of this ‘family dynamics’ theme also proves to be a little disconcerting, considering his supposed investigation of the source material should have indicated that Uncharted isn’t about an archaeologist version of the Von Trapp family.
While it was an inevitability that Russell would face some extreme criticism from fans before even putting pen to paper, I feel that a definitive line drawn between the movie Uncharted and the game Uncharted is a necessity. What with Indiana Jones staging an obligatory comeback #2 in the near future, it would be difficult for Russell to compete with Spielberg and Lucas’ inevitable box-office Goliath, what with Indy and Nathan Drake’s adventures being directly comparable. The introduction of a defining concept, such as the inclusion of the aforementioned Drake family, would help give Uncharted a feel of its very own, and allow for growth in what i can only imagine is intended to be a multi-sequel franchise.
Unfortunately, any optimism that I do naively hold onto suddenly slips out of my grasp when I remember that Mark Wahlberg has been cast in the leading role, a casting decision which makes me feel like Russell has blithely slapped me in the face with his genitalia.