Friday, September 9, 2011

Casting "Uncharted," The Movie!

I was late to the Playstation 3 party, not picking it up till this past May, but this also means I had four years worth of great games at my disposal that I can discover for the first time, such as the Uncharted series. The adventures of Nathan Drake, fortune hunter extraordinaire (basically a modern day Indiana Jones), have attracted tons of attention from Hollywood. The games already feature rich characters and stories that are so cinematic that they engross the gamer in its world and make you feel as if you are actually experiencing a Summer blockbuster. While there has never been a great movie made based on a video game, Uncharted could change all of that with Universal really wanting to make the transition perfect. Whether or not the movie will ever see the light of day, I don't know, but I decided to do something fun and try to cast the movie as if I was the director.

Nathan Drake - Bradley Cooper

The big role. Drake is clever and cocky, but has a genuine heart. What makes Nate such an unforgettable character is his ability to find humor in even the most dire of circumstances and his ability to put the lives of his friends above his own. There has been a ton of interest in the character from many actors, with Mark Wahlberg at one time attached to play the part, and Richard Castle himself, Nathan Fillion expressing on Twitter how much he wants to play Drake in the movie. While Fillion is a fan favorite for the role, he is about 10 years too old to play Nate Drake, same goes for other fan favorite David Boreanaz and Nolan North (who voices and does the mo-cap work for Drake in the games). Meanwhile Bradley Cooper has recently been connected to the role since director Neil Burger (Limitless) signed on to direct. I loved Cooper as Face in The A-Team and I think he has the chops to create a Nathan Drake that respects Nolan North's interpretation, while making him his own. Cooper has that awesome ability to slip into that everyman role that Drake so personifies, while also having a charm about him that Drake needs. Nate has to be likable, otherwise he's just an annoying smart elic, and only so much can be done in writing, you need a genuine personality, which is Cooper

Elena Fisher - Emily Rose

This one is so easy to call. Elena is as smart, as clever, and as genuine and pure in heart as Nate is, which is why this reporter is Nathan Drake's true love interest. The great thing about Elena though, she is not simply the damsel, she kicks butt alongside Drake on all of his adventures, often saving his life, and in my mind no one else but Emily Rose should play this part. Rose, who voices and does the mo-cap work for Elena in the game, is one of the the only actors from the game that I think could pull off their live action counterpart. The thing is, she actually looks like Elena, unlike so many of the other actors who work in the game, not to mention she fits the age that Elena must be. When you could get the actress that has already been portraying Elena for close to five years now, and has made countless gamers fall in love with her, why not cast her in the movie if she looks the part as well? I say, do it.

Victor Sullivan - J.K. Simmons

Nate's trusted sidekick on all of his adventures, Sully is a man old enough to be Nate's dad, hardened and cynical, but is Nate's steady right hand man when needed. Sully is a tough one to cast. Cast poorly, he comes across abrasive and offensive with his occasional slurs that evoke much of the humor from the character within the game. While there are many actors in the age range who could play the character, from Bryan Cranston to Stephen Lang to Rober De Niro, Sully is a true challenge to cast, with some fans wanting everyone from J.K. Simmons to Bruce Campbell! I'll be honest, I have been on the fence as to who should play Sullivan, and as much as I sometimes like to go against fan suggestion, J.K. Simmons would make a fantastic Sully. If his J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-man is any indication, he knows how to sugarcoat comments that would be offensive from any other actor and make them funny. It takes a certain amount of talent and charm, and Simmons has that.

Chloe Frazer - Gemma Arterton

An even more difficult character to cast. This Australian beauty tempts Nate on his second adventure in the game series, and while she is worth the fling, Elena is where his heart is at. Simply, Chloe goes where the greatest opportunity is at. When it is Nate that has the upper hand, she is with him, but when it is someone else, she has no shame in double crossing Nate to stay alive. Not only does the actress that plays Chloe have to have a lot of confidence in her body to parade around as Chloe does in the game, issuing innuendos like no one's business, but she also has to have the body in order to earn that confidence. Not only that, Chloe is a very tan Australian, not a lot of actresses meet this description in Hollywood. Luckily, there is Gemma Arterton. Already having the Bond girl experience behind her, and a few more meatier roles that hit well with critics, she has everything to play Chloe. While she is British, not Australian, there is no doubt in my mind she could pull off the role. Now, just get her a tan, and she is Chloe Frazer.

Harry Flynn - Jude Law

There is no one else who can play the double crossing fortune hunter Harry Flynn. Flynn is only interested in what ever furthers his own interests. British and charming, the part just screams Jude Law. Jude Law is charming, he manages to often hide his emotions behind his performances, enabling him to be Nate's one-time friend, then rival Harry Flynn. Not to mention, Jude Law is British, too. He's got it all. Of course, this is all assuming Harry will be included in a film version. Harry is not yet confirmed to be returning for Uncharted 3, unless he knows how to return from the dead.

Eddy Raja - James Sie

Another character like Harry Flynn. He actually died in the first Uncharted game, but in a lot of the comic books, Eddy Raja has had a huge presence as the thorn in Nathan Drake's side, as Drake's dumber fortune hunter competitor (and one time ally in Eye of Indra). Eddy Raja is the leader of an Indonesian pirate gang, only interested in money and more of it. If the movie were to take place in a different continuity than the games, or be a prequel to the first game, I could definitely see Eddy playing a big role in the adventure, which is why an actor willing to ham it up on camera is necessary for the role, and in all honesty James Sie, who portrays Eddy in the games is really the only one I wanna see do this role if included. He takes what is this simple two-dimensional character on the page and gives him a life his own, which is why James Sie should be Eddy in the movie, though his inclusion is not all that likely.

And just to give an idea as to what Uncharted is all about, check out the most recent spot for Uncharted 3 coming out in November!

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