The curse of the Uncharted movie has struck again, delaying the entire production once more. Yet another director (Travis Knight) has walked away from the movie, that seems impossible to make. For more than a decade, Hollywood has struggled to get a film based on the gaming franchise, off the ground. Every attempt has failed miserably, and perhaps that isn’t a bad thing. Let’s look at why the Uncharted movie should never be made.
Uncharted: The First Uncanny Valley Movie?
Marvel’s Avengers is a prime example of the uncanny valley. When Square Enix unveiled the full trailer for their take on the Marvel universe, fans couldn’t take the uncanny resemblance to their MCU counterparts, leading to the developer making changes to the character models, of which we are yet to see. We’ve spent over a decade with the Marvel cinematic universe, we’ve laughed, cried and grown with these specific actors portraying our favourite superheroes. Many of Marvel’s characters finally have definitive portrayals. The idea of having a character model that looks enough like Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, but with the voice of Nolan North, is too distracting and detracts from the overall experience.
I’m not for a moment claiming that North isn’t perfect for the part, simply that it has already been filled in the mind of moviegoers. Ask any PlayStation fan to connect Nolan’s voice with a game, and they’ll exclaim “Uncharted!” Why? Because It’s his role, he is Nathan Drake. Out of all the actors they could have chosen, Tom Holland certainly isn’t the worst, but having already made his mark as Spider-Man, I question whether fans could suspend their disbelief, long enough to allow Holland to make the role his own. Thankfully, cinema already has a perfect trilogy with a wise-cracking, globe-trotting treasure hunter, and his name is Indiana Jones.
Worrying Echoes Of The Past
There is also the way movies based on games are perceived. Recent attempts that should have succeeded, like Assassins Creed, have met with crickets from critics. Perhaps, there is a fear of taking on a movie that can’t possibly satisfy the large existing fanbase Uncharted has? Travis Knight has claimed his exit, was due to “scheduling issues” with Tom Holland, but this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s far more likely that the delay to the Uncharted movie was caused by his lack of confidence in the script, and acted accordingly by jettisoning himself from the project. The film was scheduled to go into production this year; if it doesn’t, I think we can say goodbye it all together.
The Uncharted game franchise has ended. Maybe in the years to come, when Nolan North’s familiar tones have faded from memory, and those lovable characters who once seemed so vivid are now just vague images of people with half-remembered voices, the Uncharted movie may have a chance at success. As for now, this is one movie lost in a pre-production jungle, unable to escape. The question that we should be asking is who saves Nathen Drake when he is lost? Until they find the right director, we may never know.
Sony is looking to hook Zombieland: Double Tap’s Ruben Fleischer into the project as the movie’s seventh director. If we never see an Uncharted movie, here’s a fantastic short film, starring the renowned actor Nathan Fillion.