Russell departure comes after "creative differences" with the studio. These "creative differences" may have something to do with the backlash he experienced after basically ignoring the fanbase and the game's premise entirely.
Pretty cool, right? Let's see what David's alternate "interpretation" looks like:
"a crime family that metes out justice in the world of art and antiquities ... They're like the Sopranos in some ways, but they have great taste, and they have a sense of justice." - David O. Russell
Oh, David. Look at you being an ignorant child. Look at you changing an amazing action flick made playable into something your film school buddies can jerk to. Hey, I know, let's just get all the actors back from Huckabees(*) and we can dumb down the source material into First Year Philosophy Class: The Game: The Movie. I know I sure would love to see Jason Schwartzman and Dustin Hoffman talk about nothing for two hours again, this time in an antique store.
But maybe I'm being too hard on David for completely disrespecting a game and a medium more relevant to the new century than his entire body of work. Let's look at the great arTEEST at work on his wank opus.
(*) Well, except for Lily Tomlin. You know, the one you called a cunt in that little tantrum of yours?
One unfamiliar with the series may wonder what the big deal is. The thing about Uncharted is that it is a genuinely well-written piece of blockbuster entertainment in its own right, with characters that stand up to any of cinema's recent batch of action heroes. I would rather guide Nathan Drake through another 12 hour adventure than watch Johnny Depp collect another dump truck full of Disney money. I would certainly rather play Uncharted 2 again than be forced to relive... whatever the hell the last Indiana Jones flick was supposed to be.
The point is that the games industry ought not be star struck by the film industry, especially not by artputzes like David O. Russell. Developer Naughty Dog has created the holy grail - a nonstop playable action franchise with great acting and a script that stands up to any of the genre heavyweights. The desire to cash in on the success of a property is understandable, but game developers need not feel obligated to bend over whenever Hollywood walks in the room. After all, theirs is the most profitable, most intricate creative industry today.
Theirs is the emerging artform of the new century.
Theirs is the future.
Here is a bonus article about George Clooney punching David O. Russell in the face, because fuck David O. Russell.