It’s been a long ride for the Uncharted movie. Originally, a film to the popular naughty dog series was announced back in October 2008 with Sony set to produce the movie. The pre-production process seemed to be moving when Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer were hired to write the video game adaptation. They would eventually leave and then Academy Award nominee David O. Russell (American Hustle and The Fighter) was brought on board to write and direct. Russell would become the sixth director to quit the film reportedly due to creative differences. Numerous hirings and firings were made until it was confirmed that Tom Holland would play Nathan Drake in 2017. Once that ball was rolling, so was everything else and the Uncharted film will officially release on February 18. Uncharted is actually a prequel to the video game adaptation, so Uncharted will focus on the first adventures of Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan “Sully”. The trailer for the film is very promising thus far; however, video game adaptations haven’t been the easiest products to adapt to the big screen and this list will examine the issues that the upcoming Uncharted movie needs to avoid in order to be successful.
Embrace It’s Indiana Jones Roots
It’s no secret that the inspiration of Uncharted are the Indiana Jones films. Back in 2013, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg claimed that Sony had asked them to write the Uncharted movie on multiple occasions. The writing duo declined, citing that, “It’s just going to be Indiana Jones,” Goldberg said. “If we could figure out a way to make it not Indiana Jones, it’d be awesome.” That’s nearly impossible because the games are highly identical to the iconic movies. However, the key differences are the characters and journey along the way. Hopefully, Ruben Fleischer didn’t try to purposely go out of his way to make sure that Uncharted was vastly different from Indiana Jones. It takes away the spirit and fun of the series. Speed is essentially Die Hard on a bus. Go copies the same formula as Pulp Fiction. The Conjuring is a generic ghost story that’s been done a million times at this point. The key thing is that all of those movies still managed to craft their own set of compelling characters and worlds that worked under the respective film’s rules. No one is asking that Uncharted directly steal from the blueprint of Indiana Jones; The film just needs to carve its own story using the elements that made Uncharted famous, namely the excellent cast of characters and cool set pieces. If the film does that and crafts a strong, compelling story then fans of the video games won’t care that it’s identical to Indiana Jones.
Please Do Nathan Drake And Victor Sullivan Right
Making the first Uncharted movie a prequel could turn out to be a great idea. That way, the filmmakers aren’t pressured to base their film exactly as the respective video game. Of course, the characters, the world, and everything about the film must scream Uncharted, but video games are often layered and long forms of storytelling. Usually, a game doesn’t particularly finish its story mode in the amount of a typical movie runtime, which can often make it hard to adapt. The focus on crafting an original story is smart, but the heart of these Uncharted games is Nathan Drake and Sully. Nathan is notable for his dry wit, calmness under pressure, and high intelligence. Drake is a blue collar “everyman” type character. This shouldn’t be hard for Tom Holland as he’s Spider-Man, and both have very similar personality traits. More importantly, Drake is a treasure hunter and thief. Naughty dog has made it clear in the past that Drake isn’t exactly a good guy, but he’s not a bad one either. Obviously, it would be silly to strip away these elements from the video game protagonist, but it’s also possible that the executives could trying to reach a bigger audience with Uncharted.
The film has strong franchise potential and Sony may not think that Drake being a thief is a good representation for kids. This is something that Disney tried to pull off with Artemis Foul. In the books, The Fowls are a family of criminal masterminds, something that Artemis hoped to live up to the family name. He’s an anti-hero, but the film drastically changes this characteristic by making Fowls’ father an art collector who cares about protecting humanity and the secrets of the fair world. Fowl is the same way, as he’s not even the slightest of evil in the film. Hopefully the writers didn’t deviate from one of the key elements of what made Nathan Drake. Sully is pretty much a father figure to Drake and hopefully that camaraderie is displayed in the films as well.