Carnahan Talks His R-Rated “Uncharted” Film

In January, “The Grey” and “Narc” writer/director Joe Carnahan revealed that the script for the film based on the “Uncharted” video game series had been completed.

Carnahan was also originally slated to helm the film but had to bow out due to commitments to “Bad Boys for Life,” instead Shawn Levy is set to take over at the helm. This week, out doing some press, he revealed to Coming Soon that his take on treasure hunter Nathan Drake is very much an R-rated affair:

“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.

R-rated movies 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 its been exposed as such.”

He also says the problem too many others had is that they tried to imitate “Indiana Jones,” whereas the aim of his take on “Uncharted” is to shatter the template set by the Spielberg films:

“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 bulls–t.’ (laughs) ‘Raiders’ 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.

He also says Sony and Naughty Dog basically gave him free reign to take the property in whichever direction he wished as opposed to a direct adaptation of one of the four games:

“They let me kinda do my thing. I probably wrote four of the biggest, f—-n’ 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 s–t, so that’s what I did. It was a great challenge but it was a lot of fun.”

Various other writers including Mark Boal, David O. Russell, David Guggenheim, Cormac and Marianne Wibberley and Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer all took a shot at the script without much success.