Shawn Levy talks Uncharted shoot date, tone & casting
For the first time in a long while it seems like the UNCHARTED movie will finally begin to see the light of day. After years of cycling through directors like Neil Burger and David O. Russell the film has finally found its home with writer Joe Carnahan and director Shawn Levy. Both men seem very passionate about the flick, and Levy passionately talked about how passionate he really is during an interview with Collider.
He began by talking about how he was interested in the project for a while, having been “quietly letting people know” he wanted to take on the movie, so when the job came up his name was probably already on Sony’s mind. Now that he has the job you could say he’s not, what’s the phrase, f@cking around:
“Uncharted, I am not messing around. I am so committed to this thing and I’m in it on the script level with Joe Carnahan, who knows what he’s doing; that’s been a really frickin’ fun collaboration”
He also addressed Carnahan’s statement saying the series was the anti-Indiana Jones, a statement which, for the most part, Levy agrees with:
“I do think that where he’s telling the truth is that, Indiana Jones, people compare Uncharted to it because both are treasure-hunting movies, but Indy was academic, there was nobility and a kind of well-intentioned … he actually was heroic whereas Drake, the last thing he would ever call himself or be called is heroic. And if he has heroic qualities within him, they’re in spite of his rogue nature.”
Not only is the franchise not much like Indy in terms of Nathan Drake as a character, according to Levy, but also in the tone the movie will take:
“So maybe from a million miles away it’ll have those Indy elements, but it’s very much a much grittier, more naturalistic, real-world, contemporary … that’s the other thing, Indiana Jones is a period piece, right? We always kind of forget that it’s not set in this world, in this now, whereas Uncharted will be.”
Among the more surprising news is that Levy intends to begin filming spring of next year, as Carnahan is hard at work cranking out the script:
“I’m definitely not filming before March. The goal is to film in the late spring, early summer.”
We can talk about tone and mindset all the live-long day, but when push comes to shove what fans want to know is who will be playing the devilish treasure hunter. Names like Nathan Fillion have been floating around for years, but his age would make it impossible to tell the story of a young Drake. Needless to say fans have been throwing out a litany of suggestions, but Levy probably won’t take them to heart:
“I’ve been pitched everyone. God bless you, Twitter, but I made a joke that, “You’re saving me the money of hiring a casting director, Twitter,” because from Nikolaj [Coster-Waldau] to Oscar Isaac, [Nathan] Fillion, everyone that you would, [Chris] Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine, I mean the suggestions are…”
“It’s every actor who is ruggedly handsome, which is to say every movie star, and who looks anything like the square-jawed, chiseled-featured Drake. I’m not actually going to base my casting on Twitter suggestions. Maybe I’ve even said the name in this room; who knows? Eventually, if people keep suggesting ideas and actors, one of them will prove to be true. We’re very hard at work on the script right now.”
Being a die-hard fan of the series I can’t wait to see, well, everything: Who they cast, what it looks like, the locations, all of it. Plus if Levy plans on beginning filming in the next five months or so that means we could have a leading man relatively soon. The games are cinematic in their own right, but Carnahan and Levy seem to have a pretty good idea of how to make it seem unique as a movie. I’m not sure if I want a “gritty” take, but as long as the movie is fun and spirited all around I don’t care. Just bring me the goods, Levy, just bring me the goods.
UNCHARTED will begin filming next year with a probable 2018 release.