Writer/director David O. Russell has said that he wishes to bring Drake’s extended family into the story, saying in an interview, “This idea really turns me on that there’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice.” O. Russell later denied that he had made any such claims, and that Wahlberg was not confirmed for the role of Nathan Drake.
In February 2011, in an interview with IGN, O. Russell again went against his own claims by saying that he wants a family dynamic in the film. He said, “I think if we take that family dynamic that we have in The Fighter, and put that in terms of a grander stage, with a crime family that metes out justice in the world of art and antiquities…They’re like the Sopranos in some ways.”
Since the takeover by Neil Burger in 2011, the plot written by Russell has been changed, with the ‘Soprano-style family’ idea removed entirely.
Actor Nathan Fillion had expressed interest in playing Nathan Drake, and started a campaign on Twitter to encourage fans to support him in this endeavour. Following the news that O. Russell wanted Mark Wahlberg to star in the role, Fillion expressed his support for the casting decision. After the departure of Wahlberg, there is the possibility that Fillon may be considered for the role again.