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After years of being trapped in development and going through multiple directors, screenwriters, and release dates, it looks like the long-awaited Uncharted film adaptation is finally about to enter production. For those who have fallen in love with the brash treasure hunter Nathan Drake on any of his adventures across various Sony PlayStation consoles over the past 13 years, the prospect of finally seeing the game move on to the silver screen is the best news we’ve received in years.
Over the past few weeks, people attached to the project have started to release more information on things like the release date, who’s going to be starring in the video game adaptation, and what we can expect from this highly anticipated project from Sony Pictures.
The Uncharted Movie’s Release Date Is In 2021
Initially, it looked like Nathan Drake and the rest of the characters from Uncharted would make their silver screen debut ahead of Christmas this year with a December 18 release date. After multiple delays in the pre-production process and Sony’s removal of the Masters Of The Universe adaptation from the calendar, the studio elected to move Uncharted to March 5, 2021, He-Man’s original release date. So it looks like we only have 13 months until we’re able to see Nathan Drake in his next adventure.
Director Of Zombieland Franchise and Venom Attached To Project
In the years following the film’s first mention, there have been no fewer than five directors attached to the project, including Travis Knight, who stepped away from the project after multiple delays in 2019. With production scheduled to get underway in as little as four weeks, it looks like Sony Pictures has finally decided on a replacement.
In January, Deadline reported that Sony Pictures was looking to hire Zombieland: Double Tap and Venom director Ruben Fleischer to lead production once it gets underway. This is not a surprise as both of Fleischer’s previous pictures were either produced by Sony Pictures (Venom) or distributed by the studio (Zombieland: Double Tap).
The Film Is Working Off A Screenplay From Writer Of The Grey And Smokin' Aces
The director’s chair isn’t the only spot that’s been a thorn in the side of production for Sony Pictures, as the project has gone through a number of screenwriters since work first began 12 years ago. Joe Carnahan, who wrote films such as Smokin’ Aces, The Grey, and even had a hand in coming up with the script for Bad Boys For Life was attached to the project back in 2016. While it’s not known if the tone of the script has changed over the course of the past four years, Carnahan looks to very much be a part of the project.
Tom Holland recently told IGN that the latest version of the writer’s script was one of the “best” he’s ever seen, further elaborating:
“I read the newest draft of the script on the way over here and it's one of the best scripts I've ever read. It really, really jumps off the page.”
Tom Holland Is In The Starring Role
While numerous directors have come and gone over the last few years, one thing about the project has remained constant - Tom Holland is starring as Nathan Drake. With reports that the movie is going to focus on a younger Nathan Drake, Sony Pictures had their guy when they cast your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man shortly around the time the studio was preparing to release Spider-Man: Homecoming. Luckily for the studio, Holland never seems to age, so even with all the delays, he will still be able to portray a more youthful Drake than we saw in any of the games (besides the flashbacks, but more on those later).
Mark Wahlberg Will Play Longtime Series Regular
To best illustrate how long this movie has been in pre-production, Mark Wahlberg went from portraying Nathan Drake to Drake’s mentor and closest friend Victor Sullivan. All that being said, keeping Wahlberg on as the experienced “Sully,” especially a younger version of the character, could pay off in the long run. Wahlberg has been attached to the project for a number of years, is familiar with the material, and shares a lot of the grizzled characteristics found in Victor Sullivan’s character from the games. With a sharp tongue and an action film pedigree, Wahlberg could bring the cigar-smoking, wise-cracking, aged adventurer quite well.
Antonio Banderas Joins The Cast
Production will soon begin on the upcoming video game adaptation, and as the film's producers get ready to start principal photography, they have added more actors to the cast, including Antonio Banderas, who has been added in an unspecified role, according to Variety. It is not known whether he will play a friend or foe of Nathan Drake, but adding an actor with a track record as stellar as Banderas will certainly only make the film that much better. And if they go the villainous route for Banderas, there are plenty of villains to choose from throughout the Uncharted franchise.
Banderas isn't the only actor to join to the project at the start of March, as Variety also reported that Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina actor Tati Gabrielle and Grey's Anatomy actor Sophia Ali have also been added to the cast. Both actors have been added in unspecified roles.
The Story Centers Around A Younger Nathan Drake Than Seen In The Games
The casting of Tom Holland as the adventurer Nathan Drake seemed a little off at first, as Drake is portrayed as an older and already established character in the video game series. However, there are sections of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End where the player controls a younger Nathan Drake. According to Holland, the film adaptation will take inspiration from the latter game, especially those flashback scenes involving Nathan Drake and his brother, Sam, escaping from an orphanage and then breaking into a mansion to collect some of their mother’s belongings.
How much inspiration the film takes from Uncharted 4 remains to be seen, but I can’t think of a better inspiration for a story than the one found in that game - globe-trotting, pirates, and that amazing Madagascar level all come to mind. Hopefully, this means we see Sam Drake (who was voiced by everyone’s favorite voice actor Troy Baker in the game) show up at some point in the movie.
Production Could Get Underway As Early As March 2020
During the February 2020 premiere event for his new Disney Pixar film Onward, Tom Holland told IGN that filming will get underway in “four weeks,” which would have production getting underway at some point in March. Filming is set to take place in Berlin, Germany, as well as in Colombia.
How long the principal photography will last is anyone’s guess at this point, but Holland made it seem like shooting would last through the summer when discussing the matter with IGN:
“It's a pretty awesome movie, and it's global. We travel the world, we see some amazing places, and Mark Wahlberg and I are going to have a great summer together.”
What We Know About the Film’s Rating
Aside from movies based on horror video games (the Resident Evil and Silent Hill films come to mind), video game movies have primarily received a PG or PG-13 rating, at least here in the United States. Once you take that into consideration with the fact that the Uncharted games all had a “T” rating upon release (even though Nathan Drake literally killed hundreds, if not thousands of enemies), it’s safe to assume that Sony Pictures will be seeking a similar rating when the film is released in March 2021.
One of the original script treatments from Joe Carnahan was more focused on an R-rating, but that was four years ago, and a lot could have change during that time. We’ll just have to wait and see how the production plays out and how Sony wants to handle the level of violence featured in the film.
What We Know About The Film’s Trailer
Filming hasn’t even started on the Uncharted movie, so it’s safe to assume we won’t be seeing a teaser trailer for some time. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see some kind of reveal around the time San Diego Comic-Con takes place in late July, but even then would be early. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.
Where You Can Catch Other Uncharted Stories
Next year’s Uncharted movie will be the first film adaptation of the successful PlayStation franchise, so you won’t be able to stream previous films or episodes online (unless you have a time machine that can take you to the distant future where this movie is finally released). However, there are four main Uncharted games that follow the life and times and one Nathan Drake and his never-ending search for adventure and treasure.
One place to start would be with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End since the movie is reportedly going to be heavily influenced by that entry in the franchise. In addition to being the basis of the movie, the game is also probably the easiest to digest for people who aren’t familiar with the franchise - it has the best graphics, one of the more engaging stories, and worked out all the gameplay issues that bogged down the earlier games. All that being said, the first three games in the Naughty Dog Studios series are all worth playing as well if you want to know everything about Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan. Be warned, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune has not aged well in the last 13 years.
Who Will Be Composing The Score
We don’t yet know who is going to be composing the score the upcoming Uncharted film adaptation, but hopefully whoever is hired to take on the task takes inspiration from the Greg Edmonson who wrote the score for the first three games in the series. Henry Jackman did a tremendous job of adding a more theatrical approach to the score for Uncharted 4, so maybe they bring him back for the 2021 film adaptation.
So, there you have it. That is all we know about the upcoming Uncharted film adaptation from Sony Pictures. Let’s just hope the movie actually gets made this time.