It’s kind of disheartening to see some projects struggle through the Hollywood machine for over a decade, only to finally see release but land with an anticlimactic thud. Projects like Disney’s Treasure Planet, or FX’s Y The Last Man (just cancelled after one season and ten years of development). Sony’s Uncharted looks like another one in the making.
Sony has been trying to push out a feature film adaption of Naughty Dog’s hit Playstation series since 2008, one year after the release of the first game. At one point Mark Wahlberg was enlisted to play the protagonist, treasure hunter Nathan Drake, but it took so long to get the movie going that he aged out of the role and, in the final, has been cast as Sully instead. The role of the lead went to Tom Holland, and if you just did a double take reading that, you’re not the only one.
Holland is well-cast as Spider-Man in Sony and Marvel’s movies because he’s a very young superhero just starting out. When it comes to Nathan Drake, a sheepish, adolescent characterization is not what people want. They want a more grizzled, masculine character (like Nathan Fillion would have been able to give, and actually gave in a fan-made trailer years ago). We’re skeptical anyone will be interested in what the trailer makes out to be a generic relic-chasing adventure, without a charismatic lead to anchor it.
As some fans have noted, even though this is supposed to be a prequel, major set pieces from the first three games are all included in the trailer, making some wonder just what they’d have left over for a sequel, assuming that can happen. The only missing bit is Nathan enthusiastically playing Crash Bandicoot on Elena’s couch.
Elena, by the way, won’t be in this — it’s too early in Nathan’s life to meet his future wife. Sophia Ali will be playing Chloe Frazer, though — perhaps the only interesting bit in the trailer. Uncharted lands in theaters February 18.