Uncharted's lead designer says hiring Neil Burger to direct the game's movie is "a very good sign."
When Sony first hired David O. Russell to adapt its massively popular series Uncharted into what it hoped would become an equally popular film, Naughty Dog had little to say about it. It quietly watched as Russell outlined his "unique" vision to take the world it had created, and mutate it into some sort of family drama centering around a Robert De Niro/Joe Pesci pseudo-mafia of art thieves. Now, the famed PS3 developer is finally speaking up, lending all sorts of praise to Sony's decision to replace Russell with Limitless director, Neil Burger.
"We've been impressed at Naughty Dog with the level of interest they've shown in talking to us and to Amy [Hennig, creative director] in particular in order to get it right," said Uncharted 3's co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand. "The attachment of Neil Burger to the project is a very good sign in that regard."
Lemarchand and his team aren't just passive observers when it comes to movies. Later in the same interview, he explained that they're actually "big fans" of the medium, and even went so far as to study filmmaking techniques when first designing Uncharted for Sony. "[We] set out to make the most cinematic character action games that have ever existed," Lemarchand said. "We're happy with what we've been able to achieve in that regard."
With such an emphasis on making the Uncharted games film-like, it's no wonder that Naughty Dog is excited for Burger to take the reins. After all, Burger has already publicly said that he's "starting from scratch" instead of working off of Russell's script, and "going back to the videogame." Those are, of course, the words any game developer, or fan, really want to hear. And while Lemarchand was professional enough not to knock Russell in his comments, I still find it interesting that we never saw this sort of enthusiasm back when the Uncharted film seemed to be flying so far off the mark.
Regardless, I think it's safe to say that Lemarchand knows much more about the upcoming film than any of us do, so if he's excited, maybe, just maybe, we can let ourselves get a little excited too.