In a shocking turn of events, a Hollywood movie that was being talked about, may be delayed. Replace the word “shocking” with “common”, and you might be describing what just happened to the much publicized movie adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
The website Showbiz 411 is reporting that director David O. Russell is close to choosing the novel The Silver Linings Playbook as his next project. According to the report, Anne Hathaway has already signed on, and negotiations have begun with Bradley Cooper to take the role of the leading man.
The novel is about two people who do not seek out valuables while racing evil gunmen to a legendary treasure. Written by Matthew Quick, there is something about a guy trying to win back his ex-wife, but it is decidedly not the big-budget, star-studded movie that fans were hoping could finally bring about the glorious days were video game adaptations don’t suck.
The report in question is somewhat vague on its sources though, so until any deals are officially announced this has to be viewed sceptically. The news about Uncharted seemed to be coming in at a rapid pace, with Marky Mark of the Funky Bunch fame set to star as Nathan Drake, and reports that Russell had approached Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci about joining the cast as Drake’s family. Sony has also made it no secret that an Uncharted movie is high priority for the studio.
There are a few things in favor of the report though. Russell’s new film The Fighter (which stars Wahlberg and opens nationwide on this Friday) is already receiving serious Oscar-buzz. Russell may want to solidify his reputation as a director capable of handling character pieces before moving on to a big-budget action flick that will be judged on box office as much as the quality of the film. Also, Uncharted was rumored to begin filming this summer, but Russell has not yet finished the script. There is still plenty of time for him, but it wouldn’t be surprising for the director to want a bit more time to polish the script before risking the ire of the studios if the expensive film is a bomb.
If he does commit to the new project, it will make things very difficult for Uncharted. Even under the best conditions, Russell would likely be engaged with the new project for close to a year, which would push back the suggested schedule of Uncharted. If that happens, scheduling with the actors becomes an issue, and things could be back to square one. That being the case, Sony may decide to push forward with a new director, and the entire process would start over. A new director and writer would be hired, and a new actor would almost certainly be cast to play Drake (Wahlberg has stated that Russell’s involvement was the main reason for his involvement). On the other hand, if Sony remains committed to Russell, the film would enter the dreaded limbo stages until the director returned.
So far Russell has yet to comment, and his last official word was that he was working on Uncharted, so this might not happen. But if you listen closely, you can almost hear Nathan Fillion cheering.