Naughty Dog may be riding the crest of a wave at this point in time, buoyed by the glittering success of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, but there was a time when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End appeared in trouble.
Back in March 2014, writer and director Amy Hennig – a talent that had been synonymous with the studio’s action-adventure franchise – abruptly parted ways with ND before finding a new home in Visceral Games. Naturally, this led to many questions being directed in Naughty Dog’s direction and quite frankly, very few – if any – of the them have been answered. Upon drafting in The Last of Us alum Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley during development, A Thief’s End was subject to several script changes – script changes that “didn’t sit well” with Firefly actor Alan Tudyk.
Speaking candidly with IGN, Tudyk confirmed that he opted to quit the sequel shortly after Hennig’s departure, revealing that:
“I liked it… they… ummm… they fired… ummm… [lets out a massive sigh] I left, I quit! [laughs],” he told IGN. “So, I didn’t like it. I mean, I left because they decided to go a different way with it and so when they did that, when they changed leadership, it made my contract null and void and I was able to take that opportunity to walk away which was great because I got the experience of doing it, I made some friends–not with Naughty Dog–but I made some friends with the people that left.”
Indeed, he wasn’t the only high-profile actor to bow out of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End during the testing period, with Todd Stashwick (You, Me, and Dupree, Along Came Polly) also leaving shortly thereafter. At the time, it painted a bad picture of Naughty Dog’s blockbuster release, though since then the studio has allayed fears that these departures had affected the game with several stunning gameplay demoes. Even still, we can’t help but wonder what really went on during that two-to-three month period of change.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End launches exclusively for PlayStation 4 on March 18.