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Uncharted movie expected to begin production in early 2015

A live-action movie based on the Uncharted video game franchise has been in the works for quite a while now, and director Seth Gordon says the film may finally begin production early next year.

After years of starts and stops on a big-screen adaptation of developer Naughty Dog’s hit franchise, the project seemed to gain some momentum this year with the arrival of the Horrible Bosses director in February. In an interview with Zap2It, Gordon offered an update on the long-awaited Uncharted movie, and said he expects to cameras to roll on the project “very early next year.”

“That’s the plan,” he said. “That’s like tomorrow, essentially, because the prep is so complicated for the movie.”

Of course, the project still needs a very key piece of casting: franchise hero Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter descended from legendary explorer Sir Francis Drake. A previous iteration of the project had Mark Wahlberg attached to play Drake, but that version was scrapped when development stalled.

“I want it to be a great actor,” said Gordon of the search for a male actor capable of bringing Nathan Drake to life on the big screen. “That’s number one, and then if it’s someone who has an actual jaw, that’s even better. The game is so well done that you need it to live up to that. There’s no way we’d do the inverse of that where it’s somebody famous who can’t [act].”

He also indicated that he’s open to the idea of casting someone from the television world as Nathan Drake — a strategy that worked well for Horrible Bosses. It also opens the door to a possible Nathan Fillion casting; the Firefly star has long been a fan-favorite choice to take the role, due to his uncanny resemblance to the Drake character.

“Obviously, I’m a fan of that kind of transition,” he acknowledged. “There’s a lot of great shows on that expose me to actors I would not have known otherwise.”

While he was careful to avoid giving away any details of the film’s plot, he said the Uncharted movie would be “very international” with set pieces located “all over the world.” He also said the film wouldn’t be a direct rehash of the events of the first game — or any installment, for that matter.

“It’s going to honor the mythology of the game, but I would say honor some of the most interesting stuff from the first one and build from there,” he said. “There’s some stuff that isn’t in the game.”

“I feel like the people who play the games and know them well don’t want to just see the same story told,” he added. “You want extra shades.”

With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End expected to hit shelves in 2015, it’s reasonable to expect the film to benefit from the increased awareness of the franchise next year and likely gain even more momentum. There’s no release date set for the film at this point, however.

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