Uncharted: 5 Major Ways Tom Holland's Movie Will Be Different From The Video Games

Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland in Uncharted
(Image credit: Sony)

Another video game adaptation is on its way to the big screen, and it comes in the form of one of the most beloved franchises of the modern console era. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted is being turned into a motion picture, and it’ll see Tom Holland step into the shoes of fan-favorite adventurer Nathan Drake. Fans recently got their first look at the film through its first official trailer, which provided a small taste of what they can expect. While there are still plenty of unknowns, it’s already clear that the movie is deviating from the source material in a few key ways. 

It’s not uncommon for video game movies to change things up narrative-wise, though it can lead to mixed reception from their respective fanbases. The same can also be true when it comes to cosmetic changes (looking at you, Sonic the Hedgehog). Franchise devotees seem to have a firm idea of Nathan Drake and his world, so it’s hard to say how they’ll respond to the changes when they see the movie. We won’t try to predict their responses here, but will list off the major ways in which the Uncharted movie will differ from the video games:

Mark Wahlberg in Uncharted

(Image credit: Sony)

Nathan Drake Meets Victor Sullivan In New York Instead Of Columbia

2011’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was the installment of the series that finally revealed how Nate and mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan entered each other’s lives. The two met in Cartagena, Colombia, where the budding explorer and thief sought to steal the ring that once belonged to Sir Francis Drake from the Museo Marítimo. Coincidentally, Sully was aiming to do the same thing, and the two crossed paths while trying to pull off their respective jobs. But in the feature film, it appears the two will meet under more casual circumstances. 

The trailer shows that Nate and Sully (played by Mark Wahlberg) meet in New York, where the former is working as a bartender. It’s a major departure from what fans have come to know, and it’s an intriguing creative choice to say the least. On the surface, it may not seem quite as exciting as a daring encounter in Columbia. Of course, there could very well be things we don’t know yet. Maybe Sully is in the city to pull off a job (that’s not the film’s main mission) and young Drake somehow gets embroiled in it.

Tom Holland in Uncharted

(Image credit: Sony)

Nathan Drake Is Slightly Older When He Officially Enters The Treasure-Hunting Life

Another significant change in regard to the first encounter between Nate and Sully is that the former has been aged up a bit. In Uncharted 3, it was established that Nate was only 15 years old when he first crossed paths with Sully. While his exact age in the film has yet to be confirmed, Tom Holland’s version of the character appears to be a few years older. I mean, I honestly can’t see a high-end, New York bar hiring a 15-year-old to serve the alcohol. 

Honestly, this is a pretty small change, and one that might make sense to the tale being told. WIth Nate a bit older, the story is free to jump into more mature territory, though I doubt things will get too racy. And from a practical standpoint, making the character 15 may have limited who the studio could cast in the role. It’s true that Tom Holland looks young and actually did play a 15 year old in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming but, a few years later, casting him in that age bracket may not be quite as believable for some.

Sophia Ali in Uncharted

(Image credit: Sony)

Chloe Frazer Is Established As A Friend Of Victor Sullivan

Another familiar face that fans will encounter in the movie is fan-favorite Chloe Frazer, portrayed by Sophia Ali. The intelligent, brave and flirtatious explorer who first appeared in the critically acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Given how popular she is, it makes sense that the producers would want to bring her into the story. There are, however, two changes to make note of in her appearance here. One is that she’s been aged down, which makes sense in this context because she’s always been around Nate’s age. However, this time, the young man will meet her through his mentor. 

The trailer reveals that in the movie, Chloe Frazer is actually a friend of Sully’s and that he’s the one that ultimately introduces her to young Nathan Drake. In the timeline of the games, Drake (and Sully) met Frazer when they all attempted to swipe an object from an auction. This led to Nate and his future girlfriend meeting at gunpoint, before eventually teaming up. Having the young woman meet Sully first is an unexpected creative decision, and it’ll be interesting to see how this pre-established relationship plays out in the movie.

Marlowe in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Katherine Marlowe Is Nowhere To Be Found… Yet

When Nate and Sully originally met in Cartagena, the latter was accompanied by Katherine Marlowe, the ruthless leader of an ancient organization. Back in the day, the English socialite tasked Sully (her lover) with retrieving the ring of Sir Francis Drake. The two eventually had a falling-out, presumably because Sully helped Nate snag the ring. Years later, she would come into conflict with them once more, again due to the ring. 

Given the major way Marlowe figures into Drake’s past, it is surprising that she doesn’t appear in the film. That doesn’t, however, mean that she couldn’t appear somewhere down the line. A potential sequel could retroactively establish that she’s an associate of Sully’s and position her for a villainous role in the future.

Sam Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Sam Drake’s Whereabouts Are Unknown In The Movie

Uncharted does take a cue from the video game’s mythology in that Nate’s older brother, Sam, is not with him when he first meets Sully. It was later revealed that the older Drake was doing time in a prison somewhere. But it would seem that in the big-screen universe, Sam is actually missing. Ultimately, his disappearance is the larger mystery that his brother and his allies are trying to solve. 

Honestly, the upcoming flick could very well reveal that Sam is in prison somewhere. But given how much is being put into the intrigue regarding his absence, that could be a lackluster answer to the mystery. The producers could’ve gone in any number of directions, including a grim route that sees Sam killed off. The chances of that happening are probably low, though, as one would think the producers would like the idea of the Drake brothers appearing together in a future film. 

There’s no telling how things are going to go down in this reimagining of Nathan Drake’s origin story. Hopefully, Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and their colleagues simultaneously honor the source material and add some fresh new elements to it. We’ll see when Uncharted opens in theaters on February 11, 2022.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.