Russell's departure comes after a difference in creative direction between "The Three Kings" director and the studio, but an individual with knowledge of the situation described the split as amicable.
The project is listed as in development and the studio is continuing to meet with writers and plans to move forward with the film. Part of the enthusiasm on Sony's part has to do with an initial draft of the script submitted by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
The action adventure game centers on adventurer Nathan Drake and his search for the lost treasure of "El Dorado."
Russell's departure comes after the famously temperamental director had forged a comeback of sorts with "The Fighter," which delivered Oscars to Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Prior to the boxing drama's release last December, Russell had a six year gap between "The Fighter" and his prior film "I Heart Huckabees."
News of Russell's departure was first reported by Variety.