The Uncharted movie has been in the works for a long time – to put it lightly. But the Tom Holland-fronted video game adaptation is finally on its way to the big screen early next year. The movie has faced its fair share of difficulties, which we delved into with Stranger Things' Shawn Levy, one of the directors who dropped out of the project.
Now that the Uncharted movie is officially going ahead, though, there's plenty to get excited about – we've got casting information, a release date, and some stills that give us our first glimpse of the movie. We've also broken down exactly what we've found out about the plot and given you the lowdown on the director who's finally brought the long-awaited project to fruition. And that's just the start of it, too – scroll down to find out everything we know so far about the Uncharted movie.
Uncharted movie release date
The first Uncharted movie release date was way back in 2016 – suffice it to say, it's been delayed a few times. The most recent delay moved the Holland-led Uncharted flick from February 11 to February 18, 2022.
The movie will also be coming to Netflix, too. Thanks to a new deal, Netflix has exclusive rights to stream Sony's theatrical releases – which includes Uncharted, Venom 2, and Morbius. However, these movies won't be on Netflix at the same time as they are in theaters, but will land on the platform within a two-year period after its theatrical release.
Uncharted movie trailer and first look
It’s nice to meet you, I’m Nate. #uncharted pic.twitter.com/v79Mvy26iHOctober 22, 2020
Despite initial filming having finished, we still do not have an Uncharted movie trailer. We do, however, have our very first image of Tom Holland in the leading role of Nathan Drake. As you would expect, he looks every part the young Indiana Jones. It certainly looks like the Uncharted movie will deliver on the action-adventure front.
A very brief look at the movie was also unveiled in a Sony video. In a clip that lasts about two seconds, you can see Sully and Drake in motion. Check it out below.
Uncharted movie images
Although there's no trailer, we do have a few official images from the Uncharted movie set. There is a map and a few ancient relics that look straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Click through the above gallery for more.
We also have another look at Sully and Drake, with the two apparently exploring together. See it below.
Uncharted movie cast
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is going from one universally-loved hero to another with Uncharted's Nathan Drake, playing a younger version of the character than seen in the games. Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg will portray seasoned treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan, who acts as Drake’s mentor. Nolan North, voice of Nathan Drake in the games, has praised Holland's performance in the movie.
Dan Trachtenberg, who was set to direct the Uncharted movie until Travis Knight took over (and subsequently left the project), told GamesRadar+ that Holland's Drake would not be as young as fans might assume given the casting. And while Trachtenberg may have left the movie, there’s a large chance his ideas may still be seen on the big screen.
"[In the Uncharted movie] he might go a little bit older in a way that you realize, 'Oh, it's Nathan before the first game', but it's not like Young Nate Drake,” he said. “He's not playing Nathan in the flashbacks. This is actually just Nathan and Sully's first adventure."
Other key cast members include Truth or Dare’s Sophia Taylor Ali, rumored to play Chloe Frazer, a fellow treasure hunter who was introduced in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and led the spin-off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. The games reveal Frazer has a romantic past with Drake – could the movie show us what happened between the two?
Antonio Banderas will have a key role in the movie, playing the reported villain. There’s no word on whether the Zorro actor’s character previously appeared in the games, though rumors suggest he’s an original creation for the movie.
The primary cast is rounded out by Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Tati Gabrielle, whose character is also unknown. Could she be playing Drake’s eventual wife, journalist Elena Fisher, who already has a working relationship when Drake's Fortune kicks off? It's implied that her documenting of Drake's treasure-finding escapades in the games was the beginning of their partnership. If Elena does make an appearance in the Uncharted movie, it won't likely be until the end.
Uncharted movie plot
It's not a coincidence that Uncharted's cast is led by actors considerably younger than the video game characters they portray. The movie will be a prequel to the game series, picking up before the events of the first game, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
It's easy to mistake the boyish Tom Holland as much younger than he really is. Drake’s actually around 30 years old by the time Drake's Fortune kicks off. Holland turned 24 during filming, which lines up relatively nicely as a prequel set a few years before. Likewise, Mark Wahlberg – who turned 49 years old just five days after Holland’s birthday – will play a slightly-younger Sully, who was mid-50s at the time of Drake's Fortune.
That should clear up a lot of confusion about what timeline the movie is set to follow. This isn't a prequel that explores Drake's early history, but rather the events preceding Drake's Fortune. If there are sequels, there's a good chance they'll either take place in the same timeline as the games or be yet closer to them than the first movie.
Holland has recently teased what we can expect from the movie. "Uncharted is a film I finished last year," he told our sister publication Total Film. "It's Mark Wahlberg and myself. It's a prequel to the Naughty Dog game series, Uncharted. I play Nathan Drake. Ruben Fleischer is our director, and he did an amazing job. I'm really chuffed with it. It's fun, it's funny, it's epic. It's going to be really entertaining. The action sequences are some of the coolest sequences that I've ever done. So I'm super-excited about that."
He also revealed that he found it hard to shift the Nathan Drake swagger for Spider-Man 3, telling Screen Daily: "I was doing this scene [on Spider-Man 3] where I'm walking into this building and there is this cool cinematic shot pushing in behind me and Amy Pascal [producer] took me aside and said, 'Why are you walking like that? You're walking like a man; you need to walk like a boy.'" He explained. "I went back and watched the monitor, and I could see I was walking with a swagger and confidence. Jon Watts [director] was like, 'It's fine, it's Nathan Drake. We'll iron him out and get Peter Parker back.'"
In fact, Holland seems to be worried about his performance in the movie, admitting to GQ that "there are elements of my performance in Uncharted where I kind of fell under that spell of being 'I want to look good now' rather than 'playing a character.'" He added: "As soon as you start worrying about 'Do I look good in this shot?' acting becomes something other than playing a character," continuing, "I think there are elements of my performance in Uncharted where I kind of fell under that spell of being 'I want to look good now. I want this to be my cool moment'... But it was an important lesson learned, because, at times, it was less about land a mark and go through this scene and more about land a mark, stand like this and see my bulging biceps... It was a mistake and is something that I will probably never do again."
However, he has assured us all that the movie will be for everyone. "For the fans that love the games, they're getting an aspect of the story that they've never seen before," he told Den of Geek. "The people that haven't played the games are getting a really nice introduction to a character. It kind of works for everyone."
Uncharted movie director
There have been a few Uncharted directors… First off, David O. Russell – best known for American Hustle – was the first person attached to write and direct. Wahlberg, who worked with Russell on The Fighter, revealed during an interview with MTV in 2010 that he was excited by the director’s work, saying: "I'm obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: Robert De Niro being my father, Joe Pesci being my uncle. It's not going to be the watered-down version, that's for sure."
However, due to work beginning on Silver Linings Playbook, Russell soon left the project, and Neil Burger – coming off the back of Limitless in 2011 – was brought aboard and re-wrote the script. That placement then fell through in 2012 after Ruger went to direct the Divergent movies, and, in 2014, Seth Gordon – director of Horrible Bosses – was hired. Chris Pratt then declined the role of Nathan Drake, and Gordon left the project to helm a Baywatch movie.
Later, in 2015, a script written by David Guggenhein appeared online as part of the infamous Sony leaks. Script notes from Wahlberg asked the writers to cut back on the "buddy movie" nature “making it clearly Drake's story” rather than one fronted by Sully and Drake. At one point, there were also three villains, though this was cut down to two.
By the time 2016 came around, Stranger Things director Shawn Levy was at the helm, until Dan Trachtenberg took over in early 2019. Bumblebee director Travis Knight assumed directorial duties from Trachtenberg in September later that year, and left in December due to Holland's conflicting schedule filming Spider-Man 3.
The final screenplay came from Iron Man and Men in Black: International duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who took over from Jonathan Rosenberg and Mark Walker. Before that, there were numerous other drafts, including ones by Agents of Shield writer Rafe Judkins (who still has a writing credit on IMDB), Bad Boys for Life’s Joe Carnahan (who called his R-rated script "a beast" with "four of the biggest, f***in' craziest action sequences I think I've ever written"), and many more before them.
Uncharted movie will be a first for Sony
PlayStation Productions is a Sony subsidiary that's signed on to produce the Uncharted movie. The studio previously produced the 2014 animated film Heavenly Sword and 2016's Ratchet & Clank for digital release, though Uncharted is the studio's first project slated for a wide theatrical release. PlayStation Productions is also working on The Last of Us HBO series.