For Ruben Fleischer, Uncharted was two years in the making. But the feature take of the Sony PlayStation game has been in the works since 2008 with several directors attached, from David O. Russell and Neil Burger to Travis Knight and Shawn Levy to name just a few.
It just so happened that Fleischer’s schedule timed out right in regards to taking the reins, as he explains on this morning’s Presidents Day edition of the Hero Nation podcast. The opportunity arrived at just the right time, a few months after Zombieland: Double Tap. In fact, Fleischer only had a week’s break in between the shoots of Venom and Zombieland 2.
We talk with the Zombieland franchise and Venom filmmaker about the tricks to translating a popular video game to the big screen, a feat often laced with peril for any studio or director. Listen to our conversation below:
“I can’t help but hope we’ll be doing a sequel,” Fleischer tells us. “I think Sony is appropriately superstitious and they don’t plan things without knowing how they’ll be received.”
After Uncharted rose above its $30 million Presidents Day domestic projections for a $51 million four-day haul (for a total running global cume of $139M), odds are a sequel is set in stone. If so, count Fleischer in.
Speaking with us about his inspiration from classic 1980s films and such filmmakers as George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg and Martin Brest, Fleischer also doted on the decade’s other blockbuster director John Landis.
“I think he’s probably the most unheralded filmmaker,” says the Uncharted director and EP, rattling off Landis’ résumé which includes Animal House, The Blues Brothers Movie, Trading Place, Coming to America, An American Werewolf in London and more. And let’s not forget Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
“He’s responsible for the creation of a genre, you can see the antecedent of it in Blues Brothers because each of those vignettes is a musical video in and of itself,” says Fleischer, “Aretha Franklin singing in a diner is as good as any music video I’ve ever seen.”
“When you add in Thriller and the cultural impact of it, he created MTV, you could argue,” adds Fleischer. “I don’t think he gets the praise for the body of work he’s done.”
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