No way: David O. Russell now back with ‘Drake’s Fortune’

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EXCLUSIVE: There have been so many twists and turns on the ‘Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’ directing saga that it’s hard to believe it’s really near resolution -- let alone that it’s going to be a quirky auteur such as David O. Russell who takes the reins.

But several sources familiar with the director search process say the ‘Three Kings’ filmmaker is now in final negotiations to direct the movie based on on the popular video game. This comes after he had broken off talks and parted ways with producers and studio Sony as recently as August.

The imminent deal means that a man known for the dark comedy of ‘Flirting With Disaster’ and the grittiness of the upcoming ‘The Fighter’ would take on the effects-driven, action-adventure of the Sony-published ‘Fortune,’ in which a descendant of Sir Francis Drake fights his way to treasure and romance on a mysterious island. [Update, Friday 10:38 p.m., Sony has now confirmed that Russell is on board, saying he will write a new draft of the script as well.]

It also means that we would have a new commitment for a director known for an, er, exacting attitude on matters creative; among other examples, you may remember that earlier this year he pulled his name off the troubled production ‘Nailed.’


Russell’s schedule is now gaining a little clarity. He recently opted not to pursue the director’s chair on the cover-band comedy ‘Under Cover’ with Jim Carrey. Russell does have another development project close to his heart in Vince Vaughn vehicle ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ -- and that one, unlike ‘Drake’s Fortune,’ is mostly cast.

So ‘Fortune’ may not be his next movie. But Sony is keen on the ‘Fortune’ script, penned by the writers who worked on ‘Cowboys & Aliens.’ And the studio could use a big 2012 release, especially one in the vein of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ Let the auteur-goes-tentpole stories begin (again).

--Steven Zeitchik

Photo: The video game of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment


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