Screenwriting duo tackles 'Drake Fortune'

Donnelly, Oppenheimer replace Kyle Ward

Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer have been given the keys to "Uncharted: Drake Fortune."

Columbia has tapped the screenwriting duo to pen the adaptation of the video game, which would be produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, Ari Arad and Alex Gartner.

The studio picked up the rights in June, at the time setting Kyle Ward to adapt. But Ward wasn't able to tackle the project due to other commitments -- the very much in-demand scribe has video game adaptations "Kane & Lynch" at Lionsgate and "Hitman 2" at Fox -- and with the studio putting the project on a faster track, the decision was made to hire a new writer.

Donnelly and Oppenheimer, repped by Gersh and Underground Management, respectively, wrote "Sahara" and the upcoming comic book adaptation "Dead of Night." They also wrote the script for "Conan" and worked on DreamWorks' "Cowboys & Aliens."

"Uncharted" follows a treasure hunter named Nate Drake, a descendent of explorer Sir Francis Drake who believes he has learned the whereabouts of El Dorado, the fabled South American golden city, from a cursed golden statue. The search becomes competitive when a rival hunter joins the fray, then is ratcheted up several notches when creatures -- actually mutated descendants of Spaniards and Nazis -- begin attacking those hoping to learn the treasure's true secrets.

The game, from Sony Computer Entertainment, sold 1 million copies in the first 10 weeks of its release at the end of 2007.

The news of Donnelly and Oppenheimer's involvement was initially reported by