The long-awaited big-screen adaptation of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise is once again being rewritten, over ten year’s after the film’s initial announcement.
After spending years in development hell and being removed from release windows as names came and went from the project, it seemed that Sony Pictures’ take on the Nathan Drake saga was finally coming to close to fruition last year. Reports claimed the film was being fast-tracked after Stranger Things and Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy signed up to direct, with Joe Carnahan signing off on a “monstrously cool” script this time last year.
The Uncharted series has been one of the most critically acclaimed of all-time since the initial release of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune on the PlayStation 3 back in 2007. Since then, the franchise has gone on to spawn three full sequels as well as a number of spinoffs, the most recent coming with the launch of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy last year. Critics have drawn parallels between the cinematic, treasure-hunting-action style of the games and Hollywood blockbusters such as the Indiana Jones series, with the franchise shifting over 41 million units as of 2017. Uncharted has inspired numerous other titles, such as the rebooted Tomb Raider games and even slot games such as the Book of Ra deluxe slot online, which includes numerous historical artefacts and iconography closely resembling the treasure and themes featured in the PlayStation series.
With such a successful track record and its cinematic method of storytelling, it was inevitable that a movie based on the series would eventually be greenlit. However, after Sony landed the 21-year-old Spider-Man star Tom Holland in the previously unattached lead role, it soon became apparent that a straight adaptation of the events of the video game series, as had been touted, was unlikely. Indeed, last May, it was confirmed that the studio was seeking yet another new writer to give the movie a Drake prequel treatment instead. At the time, it was suggested that the Uncharted movie would take inspiration from the flashback sequences of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to create a fully-fledged origins story for the popular action hero.
This month, it was confirmed that Agents of SHIELD writer Rafe Judkins had been recruited to rewrite the script from scratch; with a narrative, according to producer Charles Roven, that “evolves out of the game but is not from the game”. Roven did, however, confirm that the narrative would focus on the adventures of the young Drake with his popular mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan. The film currently has no confirmed release date, but with no additional sequels currently being planned in the video game franchise, fans of the series will be itching to live out the adventures of Nathan Drake once again.