Uncharted Movie Leak Shows Hollywood Remains Clueless Adapting Games

In December 2014, Sony Pictures was reportedly breached by North Korean hackers over the controversy of “The Interview,” and thousands of confidential files and documents were leaked. The fallout from the attack is not yet over, however, as WikiLeaks Editor-in Chief, Julian Assange, published thousands of files on Thursday from the hack, one of which being an email from Sony executive Adam North sent to Amy Pascal and other Sony executives about the current plans for the Uncharted movie.

“The first half of UNCHARTED is great, and the movie will be a really fun summer adventure film like the Lara Croft movies (with a little bit of Dan Brown thrown in). However, I fell off a bit at about the point where Drake finds the map in the coffin and has to go to London. The rest of the movie still speeds along in terms of plot, but it’s here where the character work kind of loses steam – I don’t believe that Eve would go on this worldwide chase without more motivation than pride and a one night stand, and I stopped caring about Drake. He still lacks a level of humor and cleverness that would make the dusty material he’s talking about more exciting. Drake needs to have more aching questions about his past and where his family comes from so that this discovery that he’s related to Francis Drake has personal meaning for him. Right now it’s a surprise, but it doesn’t feel emotional.

Also, the pseudo-science of the movie comes in too late. We need to allude to this mysterious element that can morph people into monsters earlier somehow, otherwise there’s a big tonal difference in the third act.”

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Fans of the Naughty Dog series know that this email raises an alarm. Games that have been adapted into movies have not had a good track record with staying true to the original source material to the point that the films often no longer represent the games’ story or the characters within the game diminishing the current fan base. The above e-mail seems to suggest that Hollywood has not learned from their past mistakes and are on the fast track for running yet another potential summer blockbuster franchise into the ground.

“Are we giving people who play the game a reason to go to the movie,” asks Amy Pascal.

“Our script greatly expands on the characters and makes some significant changes that should be welcome (like who Elena and Roman are), as well as Drake’s backstory.  The geographical scope is much bigger when comparing our story to what it mirrors in game 1.  Almost all of the game is set in remote jungle locales with ruins and caverns. Our story goes to urban South American, Panama Canal and London – all locales and set-pieces not in the game. And Drakes relationships with Elena and Sully are deeper and much more involving,” Jonathan Kadin replies.

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Clearly Adam North and Amy Pascal have never picked up a PlayStation controller and experienced the well-crafted cinematic action/adventure story of Treasure Hunter Nathan Drake or care to take careful consideration from Jonathan Kadin who’s side notes to developing deeper into these characters are a welcomed and well thought-out change to bring more to the character and the story. If Adam North had bothered to study or even glance over the wealth of source material that is at his disposal, he would understand why these problems he has with the game’s story works just fine the way it is. Questions about the mysterious element that morphs people into monsters is an integral part to the story and changing it would in turn change the twist ending.

In regards to Casting, Belgrad writes in a May 2014 email that the company was trying to get actor Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Nathan Drake; Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum are also in the running, but any true fan of the series will know that these men will not do the character justice as they do not scream witty adventurer, but instead scream publicity to market and sell the film with their current stardom. It’s hard to imagine the 5 foot 10 short dark haired Nathan Drake being portrayed by 6 foot 3 long-haired blonde Chris Hemsworth. If we had to choose from a Hollywood A lister to portray our beloved adventurer, Gerald Butleror or Nathan Fillion would be a welcomed fit to the character more so than the current contenders.

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Through my first of many playthroughs of Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, I felt the emotional excitement of the ride Nathan Drake brings you on; you feel as if you are experiencing a Indiana Jones film in your living room, as in many ways Nathan Drake is the Indiana Jones of our time. Fans and audiences alike don’t need a hunky brooding Nathan Drake or for the story to be changed to the point that it no longer represents the game it was originally built upon.

The Uncharted Movie is currently slated for a June 2016 release.