By vidiot 9 Comments
I was going to post a blog about Fable 3 today, but something else caught my eye that I couldn't possibly pass-up.
Dear David O. Russell
Last year, I had the great opportunity to play one of my favorite games in recent memory.
Uncharted 2 was a brilliant combination of traditional cover-based third-person shooting, with a strong narrative that payed homage to the likes of Indiana Jones in a contemporary setting. There were many comparisons made from the first game to the film Romance of the Stone, but the sequel solidified a far detailed identity for the series.
The series is filled with monumental potential for not just the inevitable third chapter, but for other mediums.
The reasoning for the strong presentation and narrative for the series originates from writer Amy Hennig and a team of phenomenal individuals from Naughty Dog, who's past experience are both cemented in videogames, film, and even stage. This fantastic combination resulted in what many considered to be a product that rivaled most action-packed summer film's during it's release.
While I enjoy the Uncharted franchise immensely, I would not classify myself an "Uncharted fanboy". Although, when I heard that you would be involved with directing a feature film for the game, my interest piked quite a bit. Having played both games, I find that the series is prime for a film adaptation. To use the terminology: "Brain-Dead", it is a prime situation where one would have to, go out of their way, to mess it up.
That is why that I am absolutely ecstatic after reading your recent interview in the L.A. Times.
As we all know: All videogame films are phenomenal examples of perhaps the best forms of adaptation, in any medium.
While the video game centers on Nate Drake (a descendant of Sir Francis Drake) and his quest to find lost treasure on an island far from civilization, Russell plans on expanding the movie to include Drake's extended family -- and put them in fraught, globetrotting situations with some of the world's most influential people.
"This idea really turns me on that there's a family that's a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities ... [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice," he said.
Films that we can look at, even if were not fans of said franchise, and proclaim:
"Yeah, I think a movie about a videogame series, that has nothing to do with the actual game in any-shape or form, outside of character names make sense!"
In other film adaptations from other mediums, like books and television, we are constantly constrained by concepts like: "Keeping the same characters", or "Keeping the same plot", or "Keeping the same tonality in some-shape or form, with the original source material".
These concepts are ludicrous, and I can't wait to sit and watch a movie adaptation of Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield is a ninja sworn to protect his family from alien invaders.
Why are directors and writers so concerned about acknowledging what they are adapting? Why can't they be like you: Fully prepared to expand on the source material.
I like that word, "expand": it's so fantastically vague. It gives you almost complete permission to do whatever you want with it.
Hell- You're better than the source material. Screw the source material!
Nathan Drake doesn't have a living family, nor has anything to do with "international art" or "antiques" apart from coming across artifacts from long-lost civilizations through the many odd-jobs he has treasure hunting.
None of which having anything to do with heads of state, whatever the hell that means, but that's not the point!
You're "expanding" on the source material, and god-bless you for doing so.
Just think of all the great directors and writers that came before you this past two decades. All of which had the same intention, all succeeded so admirably with critics and fans. Who could forget the plot expansions of The Super Mario movie? Or whatever the hell that Resident Evil franchise is about now.
Don't listen to the critics that might proclaim such statements like:
"Even though I'm not a die-hard fan, what I know of the series makes me feel sad for those individuals: Because you are showing complete general incompetence grasping the bare-bones basics of the themes you're adapting at such an early level. We've been down this road so many times, and for the people who are watching the beginning of this train-wreck, regardless of you're own personal bias: It's gotten to a point now that it's become freaking parody upon itself, and such dribble should be laughed at for the general incompetence of what it is."
I want to help you with your creative vision.
In fact, I'm sure we can all help you with your creative vision!
I have some, what I feel, are better "expanded" versions of an Uncharted film adaptation. I hope you enjoy some of my suggestions! I really thought some of these idea's quite thoroughly.
By "quite thoroughly", I mean I drank a ton of beer, spun in a circle, then yelled out-loud the first thing that cropped up in my head.
Idea #1Nathan Drake is a time traveler.
Upon saving Abraham Lincoln from time-traveling terrorists, Nathan Drake returns for his biggest adventure yet!
Stopping the sinking of the Titanic!
Robert De Nero plays the voice of his wise-cracking, yet serious fatherly-figure "Sashimi": a miniature pterodactyl from the Triassic period in this HIGH-FLYING ADVENTURE!
SOAR to new heights, that's fun for the whole family.
Except the part with the Titanic sinking.
Cover your kids eyes for that one.
You know what, screw that previous statement: Bring your kids.
The Uncharted franchise always screamed "family fun", with it's multiple sequences where people are shot to death. I'm sure the whole Titanic sinking thing will be a-ok.
Idea #2Nathan Drake is in high-school!
It's the prom, and there's only one way for Nathan Drake to get the girl of his dreams: The star cheerleader Elena! To do this he must stake-out the school, and discover the lost Indian burial-grounds of a tribe that was wiped-out: By VIKINGS!
Robert De Nero plays the voice of his wise-cracking, yet serious fatherly-figure "Uncle Jagermeister ": An ex-CIA operative who's secretly on the run from an ancient cabal of animal-human hybrids that look like polar bears who originate from people dreams like that film Inception.
In fact, the whole film is like Inception, but it's not: We call it Uncharted. That means it's not like Inception....
...Even the part where they enter peoples dreams and construct worlds to get information. You might say, "Hey! That's lifted from Inception!" you can't say that though, because were calling the film something else.
Plus there's evil dream Polar Bears, and I named Robert De Nero's character freaking "Jagermeister". I mean, how fu***** rad is that?
I would like to point out his name has nothing to do with the bottle of Jager in-front of me.
Idea #3National Treasure....
Oh, wait....that's what you're doing already....
In closing, I wish you the best Mr. Russell. I'm sure the casting of Mark Wahlberg will be as equally relatable as the "everyman" persona that Nathan Drake exhibits.
Because when I think of Mark Wahlberg: I think of someone I can relate too, and have a fun time hanging out with.