Joe Carnahan Talks Action Sequences and R-Rating for his 'Uncharted' Script
It looks like the Uncharted movie is finally moving toward production, after years of developmental turmoil. Joe Carnahan finished the screenplay last month, and he's recently spoken in an interview about what he's turned in.
Speaking with Coming Soon, he revealed that the film was written with an R-rating always in mind, intending on embracing the game franchise's rough edges. "When I wrote Uncharted, I didn’t spare the rod. I wrote it the way the video game is. They swear in the game, they’re kinda foul-mouthed and I kept all that stuff intact and I definitely didn’t write it as a PG-13 movie, I wrote it the way that movie should be written.
"[…] Listen, man, those were the movies we were into, Predator… those were all R-rated films. The Matrix movies were all R-rated. I never understood the metric for, “This will make X-amount more if it were PG-13.” PG-13 in a lot of ways is a cop out, and I think it’s been exposed as such."
He also said that he'd been given pretty much free reign. "No, they let me kinda do my thing. I probably wrote four of the biggest, f***in’ craziest action sequences I think I’ve ever written in that movie. I used the “Uncharted” games as a template but not using any one specifically, because those sequences have already been done beautifully.
"There’s no point in just transposing them to film, you’ve gotta come up with new sh*t, so that’s what I did. It was a great challenge but it was a lot of fun." He then goes on to distinguish the character from others like Indiana Jones, which is about the point at which he may just sell lovers of the games.
"Listen, I’m a huge Indiana Jones fan, which was one of my interests in it and you have to remember you’ve got Sully as well, so it’s more of a buddy situation than just Drake solo. You have this kind of Hope & Crosby, Road to Morocco kind of thing, so it’s not a straight Indy lift. Drake is not a guy who likes museums. He thinks they’re all crooked. Curators are “thieves,” the guys in the Louvre and The Met are thieves and despicable.
"He’s a treasure hunter, not an archaeologist. He doesn’t have Indiana Jones’ idea of pure faith in archaeology. That’s not the way he thinks. It differentiates, and in the script there are deliberate differentiations. He has a line where he says, “They’re gonna be looking at real booby traps, not rolling boulder bullsh*t.” (laughs) [Raiders of the Lost Ark] is still arguably my favorite movie of all time, but it was necessary to create those distinctions. I think Amy Hennig did it when she wrote the game.
"She made Drake very much an anti-Indiana Jones, you know? Don’t forget, for that first game after that pirate attack, Drake and Sully leave Elena behind, they dump her. Indiana Jones would never do something like that. That’s a rogue act, so she was declaring very early on who that guy was. He was not Jones, he was not to be confused with that guy."
It's still early days, so we'll see where things go next. I'm personally convinced there's no need for an adaptation, particularly after the cinematic gem that was Uncharted 4. In any case, I'm curious and waiting for when casting gets underway.