In an interview with io9, Uncharted movie director Shawn Levy said he has some people in mind to play Nathan Drake “and I’ve started some very secret, low-grade conversations and explorations of actors,” but he wouldn’t name any names.
Although the Uncharted movie has been in development for years, with many different people attached to direct, Levy thinks he and writer Joe Carnhan finally have the right tone with the script:
Other drafts have had viable plots. So I almost feel like, what’s different now, is yes, we have a really cool and unique plot. But we have a tone that Joe and I are channeling right into the script that is that Nathan-blend of real guy, heroism, snarky, funny wit. I think we figured out the tone in an exciting way.
He added that it’s been a “long ass time since we’ve had a great, and contemporary, treasure hunter movie.” While people will think of Raiders of the Lost Ark and National Treasure when it comes to the Uncharted movie, Levy thinks the combination of the hunt, the action, the relationships, and the characters “makes it really unique and super juicy to bring to the big screen.”
Levy also mentioned that the action scenes in the games blow his mind, “and if I don’t give that experience to audiences with the movie I didn’t do my job. And I intend to do my job.”
The Uncharted movie isn’t on Sony’s schedule, but Levy hopes filming will be completed by the end of 2017.
Carnahan, meanwhile, spoke with Collider about the Uncharted script and how Nathan and Sully aren’t good guys like Indiana Jones:
I can tell you this: what I’ve written is very anti-Indy in the sense of the guy that loves museums and wants to preserve these artifacts. He’s not! He’s a thief and he’s a grifter, and he’s a scourge. He and Sully are not good guys but they’re better than the bad guys. It’s a game, you know, they’re certainly rogues, and certainly don’t have a problem, even in the first game he just kind of dumps Elena and it’s interesting. I think it’s gonna be, I honestly think this one’s got a real shot. And I was really glad when Shawn came on because I’m too deep into Bad Boys and I really wanna see that through. Too much sweat equity in that one; years of trying to do Uncharted. I’m flattered that these guys wanted me to write it. It’s a hell of a responsibility and hell of an opportunity and I don’t want to squander it now.
Carnahan also talked about how he wants to keep Drake’s parentage and his lineage for the movie and how he’s an orphan, how Nolan North would be the perfect casting choice for Nathan (but it all comes down to economics), and how “the language is not PG-13.”
I kept some characters I like and kind of reset them within that world so there’ll be names and familiar faces and so on, but they won’t necessarily be what they were in the game, which I think is important, you have to do that, create amalgams. I can’t imagine fans of Uncharted will be unhappy, at least with the screenplay. And I do think there’s some interesting, again, anti-Indiana Jones stuff going on, looting and pillaging these UNESCO sites and world heritage sites and also these uncharted realms.
Despite Carnahan saying he sat down with Amy Hennig, Nolan North, and Neil Druckmann to discuss Uncharted, Druckmann says they’ve never met. “FYI… I haven’t met the movie writer, don’t know his take on the material, therefore have no opinion on the script,” he wrote on Twitter.