Nathan Drake Was Originally Modeled After Johnny Knoxville

By | 1 year ago 

The Uncharted franchise is one of Sony’s most important exclusive series. The Naughty Dog-developed story of loveable rogue Nathan Drake has given millions of gamers a sense of adventure, with three games released on the PS3 and a pair of titles appearing on the PS Vita. The original trilogy will even appear on the PS4 in the form of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, which is set to launch on October 7 with a hefty download size of 44.46GB.

All good things must come to an end, however, and that includes the world of Uncharted. Naughty Dog is feverishly working away on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but the fourth iteration of the main series will be Nathan Drake’s final outing. The developer has put a nail in the coffin of the franchise before the game even releases, recently confirming that the game will not set up a sequel.

Undoubtedly, many players will be left wondering what might have been had Uncharted taken a different route during its development. Naughty Dog has offered up an answer to a question that would be pretty far down on the list of even the biggest Uncharted fan’s list of queries: what would Nathan Drake have looked like if he had been based on Johnny Knoxville? As it turns out, that design was once under consideration.

Nathan Drake Johnny Knoxville

In a recent discussion with The Verge, Naughty Dog veteran Josh Scherr revealed that Johnny Knoxville was used as the basis for Nathan Drake during the game’s original pitch, when Uncharted went under the moniker of Project Big. In Naughty Dog’s pitch video, Nathan Drake is less of the heroic character seen in the final version, and instead has more of a comedic slant. Eventually, the developer would take on a “traditionally handsome” approach for the lead, with Nathan Drake’s final character cemented in place by Nolan North’s voice acting.

Uncharted has come a long way since this initial Sony pitch video, but there are a surprising number of features that will be all-too familiar for fans of the series. In particular, the video gets across the core themes and feel of the Uncharted franchise, with Scherr even sharing exactly why he was excited to work on the project. Alongside the Indiana Jones-esque adventure, Naughty Dog wanted to focus on story and character from day one. “We really wanted not only to tell this pulpy, action adventure-style thing, but also really try to develop some relatable, entertaining characters and have the story be what pulled you through the game,” said Scherr.

All in all, the video gives a fascinating look at the roots of Uncharted, and provides valuable insight into the inner workings of Naughty Dog. Whilst fans will be left to ponder on just how different Uncharted would have been with a Knoxville-lite lead, the developer is putting the finishing touches on Uncharted 4. With the game delayed until March 18, 2016, let’s see just how Naughty Dog chooses to end this epic adventure.

Source: The Verge