UNCHARTED’s (Film Version of) Drake to Gain a Family?


Written by Bryony Stewart-Seume
Published on Dec 2nd, 2010

Bryony is the Senior Editor for All Things UNCHARTED and contributor for ThisIsMyJoystick.com. She owns WeAreTheLastOfUs.com. Uncharted would be her specialist Mastermind subject.

The rumour mill has been grinding non-stop with regards to the upcoming movie to be based upon UNCHARTED: Drake’s Fortune, although this time the man whose words we pick up on are those of the director, David O. Russell himself. Speaking in an interview with LA Times, Russell continues to baffle fans with his apparent plans to adapt Nathan’s story beyond plausible belief.

In my last article for All Things UNCHARTED, you will remember that I questioned Mark Wahlberg’s assertion that Robert De Niro would be playing Drake’s father and Joe Pesci would be portraying his uncle. My belief was that Wahlberg was mistaken in believing that Victor Sullivan (who we all know to be the older friend and partner of Nathan Drake) was in fact Nathan’s dad. It seems that my faith was misplaced; Russell is reportedly expanding the cast of characters to include… yes, Nathan’s extended family. Russell seems to be excited by the idea of introducing the family dynamic, saying;

We’ll have the family dynamic, which we’ve done in a couple of movies now.

One of the stand out features of the UNCHARTED games, for me (Bryony) personally, is Nathan Drake himself. We don’t know from where he comes, nor really how he got where he is today, although the dialogue is littered with hints of his past (“If we get caught they will lock us up and throw away the key! You do know that, don’t you?” “Better than you do.” [Harry and Nate as they approach the entrance to the Turkish Museum] “What did you do to piss him off?” “It was an old job. He was going to dick me over but I beat him to the punch.” [Rika and Nate in the Eye of Indra.]), but nowhere does he talk about any member of his family, in either a good way, or a bad way. (If anyone has any evidence to the contrary I would love to be proven wrong in the comments section.) But the point is, Nathan’s family (other than Sir Francis), according to the games and the stories that we know, is not important to him. Adding such a fundamental aspect to his character (or rather altering such a fundamental aspect to his character) is surely detrimental to the created universe as a whole? The UNCHARTED universe has been created around Nathan; without him it is not UNCHARTED.

Russell also goes on to say,

This idea really turns me on that there’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice.

I have read and re-read this quote many times and it seems that Russell is referring to Nate’s family again here, and assuming that he is, I just don’t understand it. If Nathan’s family were indeed all involved in the same line of work as Nathan, and were indeed a ‘force to be reckoned with’ wouldn’t a) we already have heard about them, and b) they all be in jail by now? What Nathan does is by no stretch of the imagination legal or a remotely legitimate way of studying the past, even if you ignore the hundreds of people he has killed along the way. If there were an entire family up to the same hijinks as our loveable rougueish hero, the world of international art and antiquities would have worked together to make sure they were eliminated. The Drake family would not be dealing with heads of state, or heads of museums, and they certainly would not be “meting out justice.”

In reality there are two layers of antiquities dealing; the legal and the illegal. Broadly speaking the Museums deal in the legal, and the likes of Nathan and his now extended family deal in the illegal. In most circumstances the two, thankfully, do not mix. This is another reason that the UNCHARTED games are so enjoyable; they are escapist fun, and allow you to participate in a semi romanticised illegal world, behind the safety of your PS3 controller. Running through jungles, dodging (and killing) pirates and finding priceless artefacts behind centuries old but miraculously intact gateway mechanisms just isn’t how it is done. As someone who has a degree in archaeology, I can assure you; it is just not that sort of exciting.

You could argue that I am over-reacting to this news, and maybe I am. After all, it is just a movie. But it is a movie that is based upon such a solid foundation that I see no need to tamper with it. I accept that some alterations will need to be made; after all, watching Nathan Drake platform his way through the jungle for an hour or so probably won’t be the most inspiring moments in celluloid history, but the story and the characters are already there. I feel quite strongly about this.

And I am not alone in this. Since reading the interview I have been following fan reaction, and perhaps unsurprisingly I am yet to find any positive responses. Some people seem largely indifferent to the possible news that Wahlberg is Drake (although this is still to be confirmed) but the inclusion of the extra characters seems to be a universally disliked ‘feature.’ It seems that the core fan base is being alienated, which strikes me as a bit short-sighted. But on the bright side, David O. Russell seems very excited about the project.

We would love to hear your views on this latest piece of news; and feel free to disagree with me. Please also note that the views expressed in this article are those of the author and as such do not necessarily reflect those of the other contributors to the site or the site itself. (Editor’s note: It’s ok Bryony, opinions are welcomed :) )

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Yeah i mean why would he ignore thousands of fans requests, considering its based off a game the fans are his key audience and he has immediatly lost his main targets just becasue he is friends with Wahlberg. In the interview he said that hes doing a dynamic family thing like in his previous films i mean seriously he first tries to cast wahleberg because of personal friendship then hes going to add two family members simply because hes done it in previous movies, its pretty sad that he cant even adapt his way of thinking when he has a new project especially when its a film based around a game with its own story and characters. I wonder who he is going to cast as Elena Fisher because if hes too stupid not to cast Emily Rose as her then he shouldnt even be in the industry.

In my opinion they should get a new director like Joss Whedon at least you would know he would stick to the script and definatly cast Nathan Fillion.


I completely agree with your opinion. They can only be joking or trying to purposefully alienate every single Uncharted fan!! I mean really?! Mark Wahlberg will suck as Drake, it is a totally inappropriate role for him! Are they trying to get more people to see the movie by bringing in household names like Mark, Deniro and Pesci? Because they're going to get the opposite result. I, for one, won't go see it and I was really excited. And besides, getting rid of Sully and creating a father and an uncle? Wouldn't they have gone in search on the Sir Francis heritage a little earlier? I mean no need to wait 30 something years for Nathan right? Next thing you know, there's no Elena, no acrobatics, no banter and just some "intense" digging around for treasures and dealing with heads of something or other... Just call it something else and be done with it.

I think the Naughty Dawg should intervene, because they will ruin the franchise!

On every single forum I've been to, fans have consistently suggested the casting of Joe Flanigan or Nathan Fillion, but the director has just decided to ignore thousands of consistent opinions and find someone that hasn't been mentioned once! Ridiculous... Even Hugh Jackman would've been better...


The worst thing of all is the two other writers that are working on it have both done exactly the same things including the film Sahara which cannot be a good thing, also Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro have been in two other films together the GoodFellas and Casino in which they both played Gangsters so in my opinion hes pretty much stealing other ideas and mixing them together. I want to know what Naughty Dogs opinion of this is and if they will have a say in any of it.


@chrisfullman Thank you, it seems nothing has been decided so not really sure why David and Wahlberg are going around confirming everything before its even begun pre production.

Sam123 like.author.displayName 1 Like

"This idea really turns me on that there’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice."

Nah. I get that things get changed and stuff in adaptations, but come on, if you have this great idea that devates from the original story, write your own.

And Mark Wahlberg. No. Just no. I've tried to give him a go in other movies but he can not handle comedy. The Other Guys really did suck.

I'm starting to like the all CGI movie more and more. Or this movie could be saved if Emily Rose was cast. Maybe...


@Sam123 I agree; if he wants to make this movie, then fine, but he should come up with his own character names etc, otherwise it is neither an orginal movie, or a plausible adaptation.

I also agree with the CGI thang; I think that would be so cool; the Uncharted fans would not be disappointed. But hey...


@_Bryony_ Why the hell change so much in such a great gaming series? Hell,I just bought Uncharted:Drakes Fortune a few days ago and I have Uncharted 2 at home. (I've had Uncharted 2 way before I got Drakes Fortune) Just because I said to my self, "Hey, I can't call my self a true fan of a gaming series or movie series unless I have seen every single movie and has played every single game. So I bought drakes fortune and am still at the very beginning of it.DON'T CHANGE ANY THE STORY LINE FOR THE MOVIE. Come on man, A FAMILY? Jesus Christ. (Excuse me for my swears to the lord) But seriously! Nathan Drake is a modern day Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider. Which is a kid at heart but in all is Mid 20+ in age. He's funny as hell for one, romantic,flirty, HE IS MY FAVORITE GAME CHARACTER. NATHAN DRAKE FTW. Already pre ordered Drakes Deception! :D But those are my thoughts.

MaverickWerewolf like.author.displayName 1 Like

To be honest, I don't like David O. Russell at all. I also -hate- the idea of Mark Wahlberg as Drake. Personally, I say Nolan North should play Drake, just as all the voice actors should play their characters - and if they don't want to, then at least let them pick the actor\actress that plays their character. In a perfect world, that's the way it would be.

Either that, or the movie wouldn't be made at all, seeing as how Uncharted is already a movie. Making a movie of it - especially if it's going to destroy the story and characters like this will - is just a bad idea in general, really. If it's made into a movie, then either A) voice actors play their characters or if they don't want to, choose who plays their character in the movie or B) the movie is all-CGI made using motion capture and the original voice actors, just like the Uncharted cutscenes are, except using insanely good graphics that the PS3 can't even handle rendering by itself.

That's my two cents. :\


@MaverickWerewolf I agree to that bro! Nolan North is the voice actor for Nathan Drake and also Desmond Miles for AC series and is in MANY MANY VIDEO GAME ROLES. And he has the perfect appearance already for Nathan Drake. Cast Nolan. If I was Russell I wouldn't think twice to put Nolan in the movie. After all Nolan made the damn game series.

JenariJoe like.author.displayName 1 Like

That is total garbage! Why do people fuck with what was a perfectly good story? Uncharted is practically a movie already, it is a story that works and great characters.