Mark Wahlberg Apologizes For Teasing The Uncharted Movie For A Decade, But He Had A Good Reason

For the better part of a decade, Mark Wahlberg believed he was going to be the star of an adaptation of the popular Naughty Dog video game, Uncharted. Wahlberg would have played treasure seeker Nathan Drake, and multiple names were bandied around to play his Sully (at one point, Robert De Niro was in the mix, probably when Joy and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell was going to be in the director’s chair). Then Wahlberg left the project. But now he's back. 

Because Wahlberg’s not one to throw his name around often with any project, we had to ask him about the decades-long tease that he put fans through now that Uncharted is making its way to theaters, and he immediately apologized. Just, not for that Sully mustache. Instead, he explained why the enthusiasm for the project got the better of him. Wahlberg tells CinemaBlend:

I should have kept my mouth shut until we were actually in physical production. I just don’t like to count my chickens before they hatch. I hate that. I’m never one of those guys to say, ‘Oh, I’m doing this, I’m doing that!’ But it just always felt so real, whether it was with David O. Russell in the beginning, or whoever else we got close to the starting line (with) but never got out of the gate. It was one of those things where you just feel like you sound like a broken record.

Belief in the project, and the power of an Uncharted movie, kept numerous people on all levels engaged in the adaptation as it endured a series of stops and starts over the years. As producer Alex Gartner told CinemaBlend during an exclusive sit down:

We've always believed that there was an incredibly fun movie, right from the beginning. … We just felt like that full circle of a game inspired by a cinematic adventure, lending itself to a great adaptation into another fresh cinematic adventure – that just kept us engaged.

The Uncharted game takes obvious cues from the Indiana Jones franchise, but also riffs on such swashbuckling treasure-seeker franchises as Tomb Raider and National Treasure. For years, the creative team tried to get it off the ground with Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. In time, it was decided to go with a younger Nate, to cast Tom Holland, and to make Wahlberg the mentor character, Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Uncharted producer Charles Roven spoke with CinemaBlend about the patience needed during pre-production so that you can wait until all of the proper elements finally are in place. Roven said:

The thing about the creative process is, it has its own gestation period. You can't dictate when you're actually gonna feel like you've reached that point in time when you say, ‘Okay, we’ve got this now.’ Or, at least, ‘It's worthy of us actually going for it.’

They went for it, and the finished product is heading to theaters this weekend. Uncharted adapts the popular video game, with Tom Holland in the lead. The reviews have been decent, and they already have Holland thinking about another video game series he’d like to adapt. Be sure to scope out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar to see what other major movies are landing in theaters in the wake of Uncharted

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.