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Uncharted Movie Will Focus On Nathan Drake’s Lineage, Joe Carnahan Likens Hero To The Anti-Indiana Jones

Joe Carnahan, the scribe currently attached to Sony's Uncharted movie, has shed some new light on the video game movie while chatting with Collider.


Once pushed to the fringes over at Sony, the long-awaited Uncharted movie is officially moving forward with Stranger Things director Shawn Levy at the helm.

It’s still early, early days, but thanks to a new interview conducted by Collider, screenwriter Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, The Grey) has outlined the creative thinking behind the adaptation and, specifically, which elements of Nathan Drake’s history will be carried over onto the silver screen.

First up, Carnahan reflects on his early meetings with Levy, and how the creative pair have referred to Raiders of the Lost Ark as an example of a swashbuckling hero. But Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter first and foremost, and here Carnahan describes him as the “anti-Indy” in the sense that both Drake and his old pal Sully aren’t necessarily the archetypal good guys.

I can tell you that Shawn Levy and I sat down last weekend, he has fantastic knowledge. I think he understands, we both have tremendous fondness for Raiders, and he wants to, I think Shawn’s capable of doing a lot of things. I can tell you this: what I’ve written is very anti-Indy in the sense of the guy that loves museums and wants to preserve these artifacts. He’s not! He’s a thief and he’s a grifter, and he’s a scourge. He and Sully are not good guys but they’re better than the bad guys. It’s a game, you know, they’re certainly rogues.

Across four mainline installments – not to mention the Golden Abyss spinoff – there is plenty of material for Levy and Carnahan to mine, but according to the latter, Sony has zeroed in on certain aspects of Drake’s history.

Said he:

“Certainly the signet ring. The harvest magnet, the whole Francis Drake legend, and his parentage, his lineage. I thought that was important. You’re dealing with a guy who’s an orphan, and I came at it that way—what’s some of the things that are important to someone who’s an orphan?”

Last and certainly not least, Carnahan marinated on the million-dollar question: who will play Nathan Drake? While he believes Nolan North, the performance actor who brought him to life across Naughty Dog’s series, would be the perfect fit, the screenwriter admitted that it’s not that simple.

In a perfect world it’d be Nolan North! [laughing] That’s who I’d like to see play Nathan Drake, that’d be the perfect casting, but I don’t know. I think that’s gonna be, again man, sheer economics. Who’s worth what, when, where, how. What gets us this, what gets us that. What’s the foreign side of things, international things. Mark’s great, Wahlberg’s great, but it just depends how young we wanna make Nate and then ultimately how young we wanna make Sully. Is Sully in his 50s and Nate in his late 30s? Is Nate in his late 20s and Sully’s in his early 40s?

Sony’s Uncharted movie is without a release date for now, but fans of all things Nathan Drake can at least take solace in the fact that the wheels having finally ached into motion. Next up for Joe Carnahan is action threequel Bad Boys for Life.

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Michael Briers