Joe Carnahan’s ‘Uncharted’ Is Written for an R-Rating, Has ‘Crazy Action Sequences’
With a glut of just-okay PG-13 video game movies out there, it’s up to Uncharted to stand out and break new ground for the tricky video game adaptation — uncharted territory, if you will. Screenwriter Joe Carnahan, who recently announced he’d also helm The Raid remake and the X-Force movie, completed the Uncharted script back in January, and has said that he wrote the screenplay with the express intention of attaining an R-rating.
Carnahan spoke to ComingSoon.net about where he hopes to take Uncharted, and revealed that he’s not settling for a PG-13 just to rake in a bigger audience. In fact, he doesn’t even think that tactic actually works.
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 its been exposed as such.
He also spoke about what he brought to the table when he worked on the script, as adapting Uncharted has defeated many an esteemed director, including David O. Russell and Seth Rogen, who said to make the movie would essentially be remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark.
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---.’ (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.
He also revealed that Sony and Naughty Dog let him have his freedom when adapting the game, as opposed to making him stick to a script.
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 s---, so that’s what I did. It was a great challenge but it was a lot of fun.