‘Uncharted’ banned in Vietnam for featuring illegal images


Tom Holland’s Uncharted may have dropped out of of the conversation since being usurped by The Batman as the biggest blockbuster on the planet, but Sony’s video game adaptation continues to trundle away nicely.

The Spider-Man star’s first outing as Nathan Drake has effectively been confirmed as the opening installment of a multi-film franchise by the studio, while the globetrotting adventure is fast closing in on a worldwide box office haul of $300 million, not a bad return at all by the standards of the last two years.

However, one place where Uncharted won’t be making any money is Vietnam, after the country banned the film on the grounds of contentious images being used as part of a map. Announcing the ban, state media explained why the decision was made to deprive local audiences of the popular hit.

“The film was banned from distribution after we watched it and found it contained an illegal image of the infamous nine-dash line.”

The nine-dash line is essentially China’s heavily-disputed claiming of much of the South China Sea as its own territory. Full of bustling shipping lanes and trade routes, parts of the territory have also been claimed by other countries including Vietnam, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The verdict in a 2016 tribunal ruled that China had no legal basis to claim historic rights, but it was ignored before man-made coral reefs and islands entered development. It clearly remains a hot-button issue, though, with Vietnam clearly offended by Uncharted‘s decision to use the imagery as part of an innocuous scene.