October 26th, 2020
 Uncharted 
Character: Nathan Drake
Created by: Amy Hennig
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Written by: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Produced by: Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner
Other cast: Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Taylor Ali, Tati Gabrielle
Release date: 16 July 2021
Genre: Action-adventure

The film is a prequel to the video game, showing us details of how Nathan Drake came to meet and befriend Sully.


Synopsis


Behind-the-Scenes

In 2008, film producer Avi Arad stated that he was working with Sony Pictures to develop the film adaptation of Uncharted. At first, the film was to be written by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer and produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, and Alex Gartner. As of 30 June 2009, it was confirmed that the Uncharted film had been in development for the last eighteen months. Nathan Fillion expressed an interest in playing Nathan Drake, and started a campaign on Twitter to encourage fans to support him in the endeavour. In an August 2010 interview, Naughty Dog told PlayStation University how close they really were with the development of the movie and that they had trust with all who were working on it.

On 8 October 2010, it was announced by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, co-presidents of Columbia Pictures, that David O. Russell had been chosen to write and direct the film, which would be produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, and Alex Gartner. Following a screening of David O. Russell’s film The Fighter, he was approached by a fan of the Uncharted series who asked whether he had considered Nathan Fillion for the role of Nathan Drake for the upcoming film due to the high number of requests for him to fulfill the role. David O. Russell was unaware of the interest in Fillion and who he was, and seemed to quickly dismiss the idea.

On 24 November 2010, an interview with Mark Wahlberg was published by MTV with the actor discussing his involvement in the film adaptation of the popular franchise. He stated that David O. Russell was currently writing the script and was excited for what he had in store, hoping to shoot in the middle of 2011. On 26 May 2011, it was reported that David O. Russell had departed the film to direct Silver Linings Playbook instead. On 6 July, Variety reported that Neil Burger was stepping in as director. Neil Burger landed the offer after the studio and producers took to his new take on the film.

On 23 August 2012, Neil Burger dropped out to work on Divergent and the studio hired the husband-and-wife team of Marianne and Cormac Wibberley to rewrite the film. In an interview with IGN, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg said they were asked to write the film multiple times, but declined all of them. On 4 February 2014, Deadline reported that Seth Gordon would direct the film with the latest script being written by David Guggenheim. Production was set to begin in early 2015, and the film was originally scheduled for release on 10 June 2016. On 12 November 2014, the studio hired Mark Boal to rewrite the film. Chris Pratt was reportedly in talks to portray Nathan Drake at that point, but he declined the offer. On 24 June 2015, Seth Gordon left the project to work on Baywatch.

In April 2015, the script written by David Guggenheim was leaked, having been obtained in the Sony Pictures hack. On 5 August 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment pushed the film’s release date back to 30 June 2017. In an interview with Game News Official, Nathan Drake’s voice actor Nolan North stated that he believed that fans did not want a movie. Charles Roven did reveal to Collider that what they were working on was pretty exciting, there was a director that they did not have at the moment, and they were not ready to cast that vote until they were actually ready to cast. In April 2016, Neil Druckmann – who had worked on previous Uncharted games – said that the most important aspect of the film is the character relationships.

On 29 July 2016, Variety reported that Joe Carnahan was writing a new draft of the film’s script. On 1 September 2016, the film was removed from Sony’s release calendar, but the studio remained committed to moving forward with the film. On 25 October 2016, Shawn Levy was announced to be directing the film, with filming was set to begin in early 2017. In early January 2017, Joe Carnahan posted a photo on his Instagram to show that the script of the film had been completed. In May 2017, Tom Holland was cast as a young Nathan Drake, with the movie serving as a prequel to the games. Television writer Rafe Judkins was brought on to rework the script. On 19 December 2018, it was announced that Shawn Levy had departed the film to work on Free Guy.

On 14 January 2019, Variety reported that Dan Trachtenberg had signed on to direct the film. In June 2019, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Sony had set a new release date of 18 December 2020. On 22 August 2019, Deadline reported that Dan Trachtenberg had exited the film but remained scheduled to go into production in early 2020. On 27 September 2019, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Travis Knight would direct the film. In November, Mark Wahlberg returned to the project to star alongside Tom Holland in the role of Victor Sullivan. In December 2019, Travis Knight left the project due to scheduling conflicts, which resulted in the film losing its December 2020 release date.

In January 2020, Ruben Fleischer entered talks to replace Travis Knight as director, with the film’s release date now pushed back to 5 March 2021. In February 2020, Ruben Fleischer was confirmed as director, with the film’s plot serving as a prequel to the games and taking inspiration from the fourth game in the series, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. In March, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Taylor Ali and Tati Gabrielle were added to the cast, with a new script from Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.

Principal photography began on 16 March 2020, shooting in areas around Berlin. Production was expected to take place at Babelsberg Studio, before moving to Spain. However, filming was shut down only a day later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was believed filming had resumed on 15 July 2020, Sony Pictures clarified that while production has not yet resumed, they were undergoing preparations with the hope to restart production soon. Production officially resumed on 20 July, shooting in areas around Germany, with proper social distancing and mask requirements being implemented on and off the set. On 5 August, Banderas temporarily left production after he tested positive for COVID-19, before returning shortly after receiving clearance on 26 August. On 16 September, filming moved to Berlin, with set photos being released online. In October 2020, production was shooting in areas around Valencia, Spain, including the coastal town of Xàbia. On 23 October, Tom Holland finished shooting his scenes, and filming wrapped on 29 October.


Release

Uncharted is scheduled to be theatrically released on July 16, 2021 in IMAX, RealD 3D, and Dolby Cinema.


Trivia

The film will become the first feature production of Sony PlayStation Productions.
The movie draws inspiration from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which is Tom Holland’s favorite video game in the series.
Bryan Cranston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pratt, Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were all being considered for Sully before the role went to Mark Wahlberg.
Tom Holland began filming his scenes for the third MCU Spider-Man film just days after he finished filming his scenes for this film.


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