Sunday, February 20, 2011

David O. Russell on 'Uncharted'

So I was reading a few comments David O. Russell dropped about his new 'Uncharted' adaptation over at Slashfilm. If you're a friend of mine on facebook, then you've heard me get pissed about this before, but today I wrote a good long reply in their forums that I think deserves it's own blogging here.

To kick things off, here's a picture of Nathan Fillion:


As a reminder, David O. Russell has claimed since the beginning of fan protests that he's never heard of Nathan Fillion, the actor the fan community is pushing for the role, and has cast Mark Wahlberg as the lead, with Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci as his father and uncle, respectively, who, in a far departure from the game, are a family of international jewel thieves.

To get you up to speed, Here's what Russell has to say for himself today (prepare to get mad):

My son plays most of the games in our house, and I will play them with him but I’m not hardcore. I’m not going to present myself as hardcore. But I played the game a bunch of times and I also read as much as I could about the game and I met the game’s creator, Amy Hennig, who’s really cool. I started to brew together what I thought could be a really cool idea that I’d never seen in a film before…Really intense action and really intense family dynamics on a global stage. To grow a game into a movie is an interesting proposition because a game is a very different experience than a movie. You guys are playing the game, and it’s about playing the game. It’s not about a narrative embracing you emotionally. You know what I’m saying? So, I want to create a world that is worthy of a really great film that people want to watch and rewatch, so that’s what I’m working on right now.

Well I’ve had people come up to me after screenings and pitch people they think should play the roles and I think we’ve seen that before with movies like Interview with the Vampire where there was a lot of fans of Anne Rice’s book and there were a lot of strong opinions about how to make it.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m very respectful as far as the core content and sprit of the game, but beyond that it’s my job as a filmmaker to make what I think is going to be an amazing movie. People have to trust that and let that go, I think. There’s not a bunch of movies you can point to that are made from games that are amazing movies, that stand up to time as a franchise or as [individual films]. I personally think it’s really cool when you see that someone like Darren Aronofsky is going to make an X-Men movie or to get someone such as myself to make this picture. You can be guaranteed that it’s going to be real, it’s going to be raw, it’s going to be intense, it’s going to be original, and it’s going to be propulsive. And those are all the things that I want when I go to watch a movie like that.
On "You guys are playing the game, and it’s about playing the game. It’s not about a narrative embracing you emotionally.", this is why we don't want you to direct this movie. Because you make off hand comments that dismiss your entire audience, why should we expect good things from your movie.

Audience is incredibly important pre-pre-production. Know who you're writing for and make it really good for them, then they will spend money and be happy to do so. The folks behind Never Say Never didn't esoterically examine the human condition and decide to play with concepts of family dynamics that intrigued them. They looked at pre-teen girls and gave them a bunch of video of Justin Bieber, and they were very happy to have it. This films core audience is video gamers, the people who make excuses for Sean Bean in 'Silent Hill' and will go see the next 'Resident Evil' but don't know why.

This audience wants it to be A.) full of little references to the games, B.) starring Nathan Fillion because he kicks ass, and C.) really good, because they think the game is really good. So any excuses about his past projects or Marky Marks work is irrelevant, because the audience has spoken.

On "...we’ve seen that before with movies like Interview with the Vampire where there was a lot of fans of Anne Rice’s book and there were a lot of strong opinions about how to make it.", Umm, Anne Rice wrote that script and made it on her terms, minus the casting of Tom Cruise, to be very close to the novel. Rodger Ebert gave it a good review, it was nominated for two academy awards, made a ton of money, and is kept alive today by her fans. So, I don't see your point there.

Lastly, on "I personally think it’s really cool when you see that someone like Darren Aronofsky is going to make an X-Men movie or to get someone such as myself to make this picture.", first off, get over yourself, buddy. It's great that you think Aronofsky makes good movies, but it's a little hot-headed to list yourself as an example of auteurs coming down to the masses. Moving on, Darren has said nothing but what fanboys want to hear, because he knows his audience. He might be planning on having Wolverine cry the whole time and do ballet, but he hasn't told us that. What he has said is that it stars the audience's favored actor, Hugh Jackman, and follows the storyline of the audience's favorite comics, the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Japanese story arcs. So again, I fail to see your point when your press is you're casting whoever you want, and making it about a completely different story that is only sort of thematically similar to the games.

I'm not very excited for this one. While plenty of games should be movies, this one kind of already is. If you're on the filmmakers side of this argument, you should play the game. If you have played the game and didn't like it, then you're not the intended audience which nullifies your opinion.

Sorry to be blunt, but wouldn't you Russell fans be happier with him directing something he's passionate about and us Uncharted fans would be happy to see him leave the project? What's the problem here?

No comments:

Post a Comment