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Good Writing Gets Bad Writers

By TK Burton | Industry | November 24, 2009 |

By TK Burton | Industry | November 24, 2009 |

News broke a few months ago that Sony was making the hit video game “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” into a film, and that Kyle Ward (also writing the Kane and Lynch adaptation) had signed on to write the screenplay. Well, according to Slashfilm (via Latino Review), that deal has died since Ward is first obligated to write Hitman 2, and Sony has tapped new talent.

Instead, they’ve hired Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to pen the adaptation, which is … not great news. Donnelly and Oppenheimer also co-wrote the dismal Sahara, as well as A Sound of Thunder, one of the worst sci-fi movies … ever. They’re also writing the upcoming Marcus Nispel-directed Conan picture, so they’ve got an impressive list of movies to fuck up.

The sad thing is, Uncharted (the game) already has better writing than 90% of the action movies you’re ever going to see. The game is about a fortune hunter named Nathan Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, who teams up with a reporter and an old friend of his to find El Dorado. The game featured spectacular game play, jaw-dropping graphics, and all of that aside, absolutely brilliant writing. Seriously, it’s one of the few games that really, truly felt like you were in a movie. The jokes are actually chuckle-out-loud funny, the characters are well-written, and the plot is pretty damn exciting. A sequel was released a couple of weeks ago called Uncharted 2: Among Thieves which actually managed to surpass the original — I played both like a crack addict and loved them both. This isn’t Resident Evil, a game with a long history but a story that’s never been quite there. The Uncharted games have bridged that gap between interactive play and movie cinematics better than possibly any game before them.

All of that is my long-winded way of saying that attaching two potential hack writers to pen the script is less than promising. Of course, the cast and director will make a big difference as well, so we’ll see what the future brings.

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TK Burton is an Editorial Consultant. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.