Sony’s long-in-development Uncharted movie will finally start shooting in 2017, director Shawn Levy said during a recent event attended by Collider.
“I am unabashedly thrilled to be making that next year,” Levy said. “I’m definitely not filming before March. The goal is to film in the late spring, early summer.” Also in the interview, the director talked about his love of the franchise and its cinematic quality.
“I’ve been interested in this project for years. I’ve played and loved every iteration of the game. I think it’s largely a popularly accepted notion that it’s as cinematic a game as we’ve had, maybe ever, certainly of late,” Levy said. “And it’s cinematic in that it’s not only wildly visual, but it’s really rooted in character and a very specific tone and a sense of fun, right? When is the last great, fun, f**king action-dynamic, treasure-hunting movie? Right? It’s not Indiana Jones, it’s not National Treasure; it’s very specific, it’s all kind of anchored in Nathan’s tone.”
Levy went on to say that he is seriously serious about making the Uncharted movie. You may have some doubts, considering how many times the project has stalled, but Levy says the Uncharted movie is really indeed his next project after directing two episodes of Stranger Things Season 2.
“Yes, that’s my next project,” he said. “Normally, as a director, you’re attached to something–I know of at least one director in this room–it’s like, the dance we always do is, ‘Oh, I’m attached to this,’ and then you look at my IMDb page and it looks like I’m making 19 movies.”
Also in the interview, Levy talked about writer Joe Carnahan’s script for the Uncharted film. Recently, Carnahan said the movie is the “anti-Indiana Jones,” which stirred up some discussion.
“Joe is so entertaining in real life and on social media because he’s fearless, he’s candid,” Levy said. “And I do think that where he’s telling the truth is that, Indiana Jones, people compare Uncharted to it because both are treasure-hunting movies, but Indy was academic, there was nobility and a kind of well-intentioned … he actually was heroic whereas Drake, the last thing he would ever call himself or be called is heroic. And if he has heroic qualities within him, they’re in spite of his rogue nature.”
“So maybe from a million miles away it’ll have those Indy elements,” Levy added. “But it’s very much a much grittier, more naturalistic, real-world, contemporary … that’s the other thing, Indiana Jones is a period piece, right? We always kind of forget that it’s not set in this world, in this now, whereas Uncharted will be.”
Levy also addressed one of the hottest topics around the Uncharted movie: who will play Nathan Drake. It’s still to be determined.
“The truth is, the conversations that are happening right now are with the studio and the producers talking about who feels right to us and to me,” he said. “It’s every actor who is ruggedly handsome, which is to say every movie star, and who looks anything like the square-jawed, chiseled-featured Drake. I’m not actually going to base my casting on Twitter suggestions.”
Carnahan, the movie’s writer, said he showed his current draft of the script to Uncharted game director Neil Druckmann, but Druckmann denied having seen the script.
Levy was named the director for the Uncharted movie at the end of October. The movie was previously going to be directed by The Fighter‘s David O. Russell, before he dropped out. Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) and Neil Burger (Limitless) were also attached to direct at different periods of time. Superbad writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were reportedly courted to write a script years ago.
According to the latest report, Sony wants to “fast-track” the Uncharted movie, though a release date has not been announced.
The movie was first announced way back in 2009, only for it to repeatedly fall apart. Actors mentioned as possibilities for leading roles included Mark Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson. Chris Pratt is among those to pass on the role of Nathan Drake.