Uncharted sets course for Hollywood

Sony-owned Columbia Pictures hires Hitman 2 writer Kyle Ward to pen big-screen adventure based on Nathan Drake's original PS3 outing.

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
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Video game film adaptations haven't exactly reached the heights of cinematic art form. Though some bigger-budget efforts, like the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, saw box office success, the majority of movies based on games are box-office duds and whipping boys. The most infamous are a string of cheap cash-ins by German director Uwe Boll--including BloodRayne, Postal, Alone in the Dark, has made his name a virtual punchline. Though not helmed by Boll, the last major game-based film to hit theaters, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, was both pummeled by critics and shunned by audiences.

Nathan's adventures may soon hit the big screen.
Nathan's adventures may soon hit the big screen.

That said, several upcoming game adaptations may buck the aforementioned trend. Uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has commissioned respected director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Queen) to work on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for Disney subsidiary Buena Vista Pictures, due out next summer. A big-screen version of BioShock is also in pre-production at Universal Studios, although it is currently on hold due to budget overruns and director Gore Verbinski's possible departure.

This week, another promising game-based film was revealed. Today, the Hollywood Reporter reports that Columbia Pictures--a division of Sony Pictures--is developing big-screen version of Drake's Fortune, the PlayStation 3 exclusive from Sony Computer Entertainment. Screenwriter Kyle Ward has been asked to pen a script which will follow the story of the video game, which starred Nathan Drake--an adventurer and descendant of British naval hero Sir Francis Drake--in search of the fabled lost city of El Dorado.

Ward is no stranger to game adaptations, having already written the in-limbo Kayne & Lynch movie and the just-greenlighted sequel to Hitman. He also wrote the script for the upcoming Michael Bay-produced thriller Fiasco Heights, which is currently in pre-production.

In 2007, Uncharted was released to critical acclaim and popular success. At its press conference during the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this month, Sony announced it had sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was the toast of the expo, and was named Best Game of E3 2009 by the Game Critics Awards jury. For more information, check out GameSpot's latest hands-on and the video preview below.

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