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Nathan Fillion fans look to have taken a heavy blow in regards to David O. Russell’s upcoming film adaptation of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Looks like Russell has neared a deal for his The Fighter star Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Italian Job) to take the lead as fortune hunter Nathan Drake. Although he’s not under contract just yet, a contract likely to span a potential sequel in the form of “Among Thieves,” Wahlberg (talking to MTV) has broken his silence regarding his involvement in the project.
News of Wahlberg playing Drake should not come as a surprise, given his name has been dropped a number of times in the past month regarding casting buzz as well as Russell’s working relationship with him in not just The Fighter but Russell’s 2004 film I Heart Huckabees not to mention Three Kings. What does come as a surprise is the apparent seriousness Russell (by way of Wahlberg’s interview) seems to be pursuing Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci for the film.
I wrote on this a few weeks back and I am still scratching my head at the prospect. According to Wahlberg, Russell is in the midst of developing the script right now, apparently toying with the idea of incorporating members of the Drake family (none of whom are present in the current games) into the film adaptation. DeNiro could potentially play the father of Nate Drake and Pesci would possibly be an uncle.
It’s enough to make a fan of the games (which I am) let out an audible “huh?” The “Uncharted” series, while possessing witty and likeable characters, never came across as a character study on any level. They were more or less about big action set pieces as Drake jumps from each, barking witty comments as he goes. If Russell is trying to take a different approach, it could make for an interesting outcome to the adaptation but likely not one fans of the game are likely to recognize.
Not to mention that DeNiro and Pesci, while the idea of them together again after all this time (see Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino) just don’t have the clout they used to. Where once their names incited raised eyebrows of excitement, now their recent bodies of work only serve to remind how far they’ve fallen (see DeNiro and his continued involvement in the “Meet the Parents” series). The only director I could imagine getting them back on track would be the one and only Martin Scorsese, not David O. Russell and his video game adaptation, though it’s likely my cynicism is just running high at the rumor/thought.