Much like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and a small handful of other pixelated franchises, Sony and Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series is one of the few big enough to transcend the line between video games and the Hollywood mainstream.
And as we learned late last year, Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) is the man tasked with introducing Nathan Drake, a swashbuckling treasure hunter with an insatiable taste for adventure, to the masses. Truth be told, this is a video game adaptation that has spent years brewing in development hell, and as time wore on, many feared that an Uncharted movie would never see the light of day.
That all changed with the announcement that, rather than being a one-to-one adaptation of Naughty Dog’s adventure series, Sony’s live-action movie will actually release as a prequel story with Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) playing the part of the young Drake, who should be familiar to those who played through Drake’s Deception in its entirety. But while addressing the general tone of his Uncharted film, writer-director Shawn Levy told Nerdist that his “untold” story will aim to be Indiana Jones for a new generation.
It’s a Drake chapter that hasn’t been told … an Indiana Jones story for a generation that didn’t grow up on Indiana Jones.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Levy went on to offer up some pertinent details on Drake’s “rogue swagger” and the cinematic set pieces that have helped define the Uncharted series since its inception ten years ago.
So, for me, it was a fact that the game is awesome; the spirit of the game, with its action set pieces, it’s imaginative setting, and above all, the kind of rogue swagger of Nathan. Those are things that I think make for a great movie. And, for me, the kind of the big, like the aha moment, if you want to call it that, was I met with Tom Holland and he kind of put it really succinctly and saying, if we do the origin of Drake, that is something that we haven’t seen as the plot of games 1, 2, 3, 4; we’ve seen a snippet of an origin of Sully and Drake meeting in the past, but here’s maybe an opportunity to do a treasure-hunting action movie with attitude, with a protagonist — and chapter of the protagonist’s life — that you can’t get for free, at home, by just playing the game.
Across five mainline titles – Golden Abyss included – Naughty Dog’s crown jewel has cemented its status as one of gaming’s all-time greats. That naturally places a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Sony’s adaptation, but given the talent attached, there’s certainly reason to be optimistic.
With Tom Holland on board and Shawn Levy in the driving seat, Sony’s Uncharted movie is finally beginning to coalesce. On the other end of the spectrum, tomorrow sees the long-awaited release of PS4 expansion The Lost Legacy (our review), which may not herald the franchise’s swan song after all.