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David O. Russell won't find gold with 'Drake's Fortune'

August 3, 2010 |  2:31 pm

Drake
Video game junkies and fans of throwback adventures might have been at the very least amused, if not intrigued, by the idea of David. O. Russell taking on "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune."

As we wrote in May, the auteur was being considered for the director's chair on the Sony video game adaptation, which would have offered the prospect of the man who gave us the dark comedy of "Spanking the Monkey" and "Flirting with Disaster" rolling his sleeves up on material that had a lot in common with "Romancing the Stone" and the Indiana Jones franchise. (The game is about a descendant of Sir Francis Drake fighting his way to treasure and romance on a mysterious island.)

In the last few weeks, Russell, the studio and producers (Charles Roven of "The Dark Knight" fame is one) had been negotiating for  Russell to come aboard. But the parties haven't been able to come to terms so they're going their separate ways, sources say. Producers and the studio are going back to the drawing board. They'll look for a new director -- and first they may even look for a star or two to join the project. (With the male and female co-leads, it's essentially a two-hander, so expect the casting process to be involved.)

What all this means is that even the faintest hopes that "Fortune" could be a 2011 movie -- Sony at one point had even thought about fast-tracking it for a release next summer --- have been extinguished. The studio wasn't immediately available for comment.

Russell, who recently walked away from the stop-and-start production drama of indie dark comedy "Nailed," has no hard greenlight for a new movie but does have a few projects in the hopper, including a dramedy with Vince Vaughn about a traveling salesman and his daughter, "Old St. Louis," that he's eager to get made and which could soon move forward. As for those trying to make a movie about treasure-seeking adventurers, they'll need to keep looking.

--Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: A screen shot from 'Drake's Fortune.' Credit: Sony

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