This may be old news to some people as it was made known a while back, but Mark Wahlberg was declared the official actor to play the character of Nathan Drake in the upcoming film version of Uncharted. David O. Russell has been chosen as the director and it’s very safe to say that Wahlberg will stay on the project given their history together.
It’s always scary to think about how a movie based on a video game will turn out after it first becomes announced, especially if you really like that game (Hitman the film never existed in my eyes). Even if I think the Uncharted series belongs in video game format, it doesn’t change the fact that it is coming to the big screen and I can’t do anything about it. But for the love of God, this movie can’t be made with Mark Wahlberg. It is against everything the series stands for.
This is why Mark Wahlberg should not be Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie.
First off, the character of Nathan Drake is obviously a rip off of Indiana Jones. An adventure hungry treasure hunter who laughs in the face of danger while saving the world and getting the girl in the end. But Drake is an evolution of the Indiana Jones type of character, who fits perfectly into our modern society of young people who play video games.
The only problem with adapting him in a film version is making him appeal to the older crowd. When Indiana Jones came out in 1981, that generation loved Harrison Ford because he was aged, weary, and at the end of his adventure he was still a stiff university professor. Uncharted’s game developers, Naughty Dog, have done an incredible job creating Nathan Drake and making him much more than just a copycat character. He is a smart, flawed, witty, immature, eager, tough and a brass young guy who loves what he does and is good at it for a reason. An action hero whose humor and style is updated for the current generation. Nathan Drake does everything that Indiana Jones does, just in a fresh new way.
Now to get the right actor for the job requires one with special ingredients. He has to be an average everyday guy, but a handsome one that women would die to be with and guys would like to be best friends with. He can’t be a smartass all the time, there has to be real emotion and depth displayed within him. He can’t be a wimp, he has to be someone that we believe can punch a man in the face or shoot a shotgun while on top of a moving train. Mark Wahlberg is not the actor who has all these features. Yes he is a tough guy and we all are supposed to know that when we see him. His persona isn’t the problem when it comes to the character of Drake.
My main dilemma with Wahlberg being chosen is that he failed to comprehend the character of Max Payne, another mess of a movie based on a video game. He created his own personality of the hard-boiled detective that came across as very bland and confused. Honestly I just don’t think Wahlberg ever played the game and understood who Max Payne really was. I fear he will approach Nathan Drake in a similar manner and craft his own version of the character without even playing through both Uncharted games.
He will miss the traits that make Drake such a lovable, funny and appealing character. Wahlberg is also too well known and somewhat stereotyped for a role like this. Most of his onscreen characters are too alike to his Oscar nominated performance in the The Departed, where he played an aggressive cop who can intimidate anyone. Drake isn’t only a tough guy who relies on his strength to get him out of distressing situations. His charm and willingness to survive makes him more than just a one dimensional character. Wahlberg doesn’t have what it takes to make Drake appear believable, a normal guy who loves getting into gun battles over treasure. Even with his intensity dialed down I couldn’t believe him having fun with the part of Drake.
Now I don’t hate Wahlberg as an actor at all, it’s quite the opposite. I have watched almost all of his movies and I know he is a talented. He was a Calvin Klein model before starring in Boogie Nights, one of the best movies of all time in my opinion. That’s impressive. He has developed range as an actor and after seeing The Other Guys, he displays an excellent sense of comedic timing. He is proving that he can appear in any film genre and has turned into one of Hollywood’s main leading actors. He could star in a future movie that is similar to Uncharted where he could play an Indiana Jones type of role, and it could be very successful. It just couldn’t be called Uncharted and he couldn’t play a character named Nathan Drake.
As for the Uncharted film itself, my feelings on its existence is not worth mentioning due to the fact that it was bound to be made one day. The video game series has a massive following and it has so much potential for the big screen. At least the director, David O. Russell, is an interesting choice and he knows how to make a good film. I just hope he follows the game’s storyline and doesn’t add new characters while dropping the already established ones (Sully).
If Megan Fox ends up playing Elena Fisher then just assume the movie was made for box office reasons and no one involved with the film has touched the video game before. The film is in the extremely early stages of development so there is still hope for changes. If Wahlberg is dropped from it then the role is up for grabs. I heard rumors that Nathan Fillion wanted the role of Drake and was petitioning for it. His time on the television show Firefly has proven that he can play a charming rogue who can balance action with emotion. Whether Fillion eventually gets the role or not, Hollywood needs to hire someone who has played the game and knows how to approach the role of Nathan Drake. Big stars have ruined classic gaming characters for almost a decade now and Drake deserves to be portrayed by someone who was never associated with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.