Why Mark Wahlberg Can’t Be In The Uncharted Movie

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.

Comments (17)

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  1. Mikesays:

    Great article. I originally didn’t see the problem with Wahlberg playing the lead role, but after the detailed explanation, it makes sense to cast another. I cannot picture the comical aspect of the character coming through with Wahlberg as the lead.

    A vast majority of Video Game movies blow anyway, but hopefully this breaks the mold.

  2. Fuck someone should break into Mark Wahlberg house put a gun to his head and sit him down at his computer and make him read this while pistol whipping him after every paragraph and screaming “Drop the role or your wife dies!” But seriously someone show this to Mark Wahlberg.

  3. Josephsays:

    One thing that I don’t understand is how your so strong on your point that Drake is a current generation Indiana Jones, yet you contradict yourself later in the article. You say that Mark Wahlberg can’t play this role of Drake but he could play the role of an Indiana Jones type person in a future movie. I applaud you for being so enthusiastic about how you feel on this casting choice (even though I disagree with you) but I can’t take this article seriously because you obviously let your emotions get the best of you so much that you would contradict yourself on your biggest argument.

  4. Whateversays:

    Who the fuck are you to tell him not to play Nathan Drake?

  5. Someonesays:

    If you dont like, DONT WATCH THE MOVIE DUMBASS

  6. Robysays:

    When i started to read this article, i thought you are wrong, until i read the name Nathan Fillion and now i agree, he would pe perfect for this role.

    1. Michaelsays:

      Nathan Fillion would be good. He’s got that happy *smirk* on his face, that would make him a credible candidate for the role. I also think that Christian Bale would make a great antagonist for the movie. Similar to Drake’s Uncharted 2, when he was betrayed by his buddy. Christian Bale would make an excellent candidate for an antagonist in that movie.

  7. Aerawetfrsays:

    Watching the uncharted 3 behind the scenes video where nolan north is shown acting and it made me think that he would be perfect to play Nate because he is Nate

  8. Ogb139says:

    Mark W. OPENLY said he did not play Max Payne in preparation for the movie. That pissed me off to no end. I’m sure he’ll say he played Uncharted for this movie but I doubt it.

    Also, all of Drake’s characteristics are present in Nathan Fillon…handsome dude who’s a smartass most of the time but is also a good guy, a hero and expresses real emotion.

  9. john tsays:

    lol after readin all the coments i have to correct some of the mistakes others have made. this is an opinion piece. if ur gonna post bull shit get off, read what he has to say and you’ll realize that there are valid points

  10. axloversays:

    this was a good article dude, this is the first thing i read about this matter thats wasn’t biased or unfair. i hope to read more from you in the future

  11. Assassin0009says:

    mark wahlberg is a great actor & he can play nathan drake very well dont be aggressive because of one movie max payne wasnt his fault the story was bad & borring & the directing is very bad

  12. Johnathan_wolffsays:

    Totally agree. In fact as I reached the half way point of this article I started thinking of actors who would be better suited for this role, and Nathan Fillion was at the top of my list. I’m crossing my fingers for N.Fillion to end up with the role…somehow.

  13. I honestly don’t understand what all the fuss is about wahlberg, the guy has basically one character. It’s funny to see them make fun of him in the other guys or snl, but it’s too bad that he’s going to ruin another perfectly good video game

  14. Jordansays:

    Very enjoyable article Benjo.

    Question though: You clearly respect Wahlberg as an actor, citing his best performances (Boogie Nights, The Departed). But considering the theme of your piece I was surprised you praised his versatility as an actor; in particular, his comedic ability. In fact, that’s one of the most common complaints about the man! Isn’t it possible that with the right script, a man with his “sense of comedic timing” could pull off this difficult role successfully?

    I agree, the Hitman was an embarrassment. But the writing for that movie was as bad as a third-grader’s made up play production. And even that could be conceivably better than this movie.

    Great work sir.

  15. Alexsays:

    Johnny Messner as Drake would be my first pick, He looks just like Nathan Drake and he can pull it off if given the chance. He looked good in Anacondas, and in Tears of the Sun. Sometimes a lesser known name for a big movie makes it a good movie. Nathan Fillion would be OK. Mark Wahlberg is a good actor too. But if we are going for someone who would be perfect for the role Id stick to Johnny Messner.

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