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Former Frontrunners to Play Nathan Drake in Uncharted Movie Revealed

Uncharted 4

Recently unearthed emails from the infamous 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking scandal have revealed some of the former frontrunners to star as Nathan Drake in the studio’s upcoming Uncharted movie.

While some conversations between Sony executives discussing the film have previously been reported on, one discussion from November 2014 has only recently come to light. In the leaked emails, hosted by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, a number of Sony Pictures higher-ups discuss potential candidates for the role of Nathan Drake in the video game adaptation.

Oscar Isaac, whose recent roles have included Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, seems to have been seriously considered for Uncharted’s lead role by executives, with Jamie Dornan and Aaron Taylor-Johnson also confirmed as having had script read-throughs. Australian actor Travis Fimmel also seems to have been under consideration at some point, although scheduling conflicts ultimately ruled him out from serious contention.

Previously released emails have revealed that Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth have all also been considered for the role of the wise-cracking adventurer at some point in time.

Ultimately, it’s worth remembering that the emails in question are two years old by this point; Uncharted has recently gained a new director – Shawn Levy – and many of the Sony Pictures executives involved in the discussion have left the company at this point. It does provide an interesting insight into some of the former candidates to play the role of Naughty Dog’s iconic explorer on the big screen, however.

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  • CinemaConFan

    In light of this information, I’m really glad the Uncharted movie did not ultimately get a true greenlight in 2014 or 2015. Of all the names mentioned here, Mark Wahlberg is the only one who I think that has the potential of playing a good Nathan Drake AND also looking “enough” like he does in the Uncharted games.

    I think it’s fair to say all of the actors listed here are talented, but I just don’t think they are a good fit for the Indiana Jones/Han Solo type of character that is Drake (except Wahlberg).

    The Uncharted movie will be make or break based on who you cast as Nathan Drake.

    Hopefully Sony and Shawn Levy will consider Nathan Fillion, Christ Pratt, Nolan North, Scott Eastwood, Jeremy Renner, Brett Dalton, or Gerard Butler as potentials.

    • Turn Into Liquid

      Some of those actors have aged out of the role significantly though, especially if you want to start a franchise. Nathan Fillion was the prime choice… in 2009. Bur people have to remember that Firefly was 14 years ago now. He couldn’t do it anymore. Gerard Butler is too old, too. Chris Pratt is a good choice if you’re just considering the attitude of Nathan, but he doesn’t really look like him. Scott Eastwood could probably pull off the look better, but I’m not really familiar with his acting so I don’t know if he could pull off who Nathan is. But maybe! Jeremy Renner might be a good choice, too. Brett Dalton was fine in Agents of SHIELD, but I also don’t think he was very charismatic in the show and we would need that.

      • CinemaConFan

        It’s going to be very difficult to cast Nathan Drake. No matter who they cast, they’re not going to be the “exact” character we love from the games.

        Another actor worth considering to play Drake is Matt Lanter (33). He currently has a big role in the TV show Timeless on NBC (which unfortunately that could prevent him from playing Drake). But I would say his character is swashbuckling and charismatic in nature. Plus, he was the voice actor of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He would have made for an AMAZING live-action Anakin as well…he has the right look for both Skywalker and Drake.

        I also think it’s going to be very tough to cast Sully…Tom Hanks anybody?! I somewhat doubt Hanks would play Sully though….but who knows, maybe his action/adventure role of Robert Langdon will inspire him otherwise…..plus The Da Vinci Code franchise is distributed by the same studio, Sony Pictures, so that helps. One issue is that Hanks doesn’t have nearly as deep a voice as Sullivan has in the Uncharted series.

        It is cool to think that they could use Emily Rose to play Elena Fisher….as her likeness in the games is along the lines of an “exact” replica.

        The role of Nathan Drake is now perhaps the most coveted actor role in Hollywood….now that we know who is playing a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Lucasfilm I think NAILED that casting. Let’s hope Sony can do it with Drake.

        • Turn Into Liquid

          Well, Nathan Fillion WAS perfect. That’s why so many people wanted him in the first place. But I think he was getting too old already by the time David O. Russell was going to make it years ago. Like I said, had this movie been made circa 2002 it would’ve been his for the taking. He was just a guy who was born 10-15 years too early for it, haha…

      • Ivana Cvetanovic

        Brett Dalton on AoS was playing characters that were not supposed to be very warm or likable (or to outshine Clark Gregg, LOL). Considering how likable and charismatic he is in stuff like his con appearances and interviews, charisma would be a problem only if his real life charm is impossible to translate to movie screen, which I find unlikely.

        This is why typecasting happens – people can’t imagine actors in different roles than the ones they’ve seen them in.

        The real issue regarding him is that the studio would probably want someone more famous.

  • Darren McCoy
    • CinemaConFan

      Great resemblance! Like many of the other actors I suggested, Dylan may be considered “too old” for the role though.

      It’s going to be difficult to find:

      1) an actor willing to play Drake
      2) in his 20s or 30s
      3) that’s very talented
      4) has enough of a following
      5) and that gives the studio confidence.

      This is a type of role that would in theory go to an A-lister, but there is arguably not an actor who is young enough (and looks like the character enough) who is an A-lister to play Drake. We need somebody with the star power of Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford, but I don’t think there is someone young enough who is like that (yet).

      I hope the Uncharted movie does not closely follow the location/script of the first game. I want to see a familiar type of Drake, Elena, and Sully, but with a much more complex and sprawling story (as in develop something closer to how much more deep Uncharted 2 is compared to Uncharted 1). I’m fine with using El Dorado as a plot point/location in the movie, but I also want a globetrotting adventure. This needs to be a contemporary Indiana Jones with much higher stakes, a whole cast of characters we fall in love with, and have lots of INCREDIBLE action sequences audiences have not seen in a treasure-hunting action/adventure movie (which I’m not even sure there is any large-scale treasure-hunt action/adventure movie that has a contemporary setting with stunning action…..the closest I can think of is the National Treasure and Da Vinci Code franchises, but the action in those movies is embarrassing compared to what Uncharted has to deliver).

  • Maxiesid

    Personally, I think Nolan North is the PERFECT person to play Nathan Drake. I think they are right that Nathan Fillion is now too old for the part, although they do manage to hide age pretty well… if you are not going to have Nathan Fillion, the only other person that wouldn’t be a complete letdown in the part would be Nolan.. since he is the one that has been the character anyway, the voice and attitude would be the same, and since he does the mocap for the game the physical parts would be perfect.

  • Fleming_007

    If that’s who they’ve been thinking about using then please don’t let this movie happen.