The Impossible Look happened, something that felt like a dream scenario even just a year ago: the movie Uncharted has finished filming. For a typical Hollywood blockbuster, this would be your regular daily update. But for a project that started development in 2008, that’s a big deal.
Here’s a quick look at Uncharted’s timeline.
In an interview with game site Kotaku published in October 2008, producer Avi Arad said he was working so hard on a big-screen adaptation of the popular Uncharted video games, focusing on the worldwide adventures of the charismatic treasure hunter Nathan Drake. In 2010 it was revealed that David O. Russell – who would later direct Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – was called upon to pilot this ship. That same year, Mark Wahlberg confirmed talks to play the lead role of Nathan.
Which brings us to 2011, when Russell dropped out of plans to direct the Silver Linings Playbook and was replaced by Divergent director Neil Burger. This wouldn’t be the last directors’ exchange. Seth Gordon (Baywatch), Shawn Levy (Free Guy), Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), and Travis Knight (Bumblebee) were all strapped to the bar of the effort at one point or another.
Several director changes, script rewrites, and reruns bring us to 2020. Now directed by Ruben Fleischer of Venom, has been redesigned to focus on a much younger Nathan, played by Tom Holland, and Wahlberg now plays Sully, Nathan’s mentor, and longtime friend. The story will revolve with the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan and features characters played by Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali from Truth or Dare, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Tati Gabrielle.
Uncharted’s official social media channels announced on Thursday that the filming was officially over – amid a pandemic no less.
The news comes with the teasing “Sic Parvis Magna,” which is Nathan’s Latin inscription in the games’ ring. The character, believed to be a descendant of the explorer Sir Francis Drake, says it means “greatness from small beginnings” but translates to “so big and small.”
COVID-19 wants the film to hit theaters on July 16, 2021. Meanwhile, Holland is in Atlanta to shoot the next Spider-Man movie.
Two steps forward, one (and sometimes even three) steps back seem to define the live-action Uncharted development, based on the hit video game series. But with (one more!) new director coming in with three new additions to the cast joining stars Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, everything feels more real.
The most famous name of these three actors is Antonio Banderas, who has just stepped out of his critically acclaimed performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain & Glory. Details of who he plays are currently unknown, but he is joined by Sophia Ali of Truth or Dare and Tati Gabrielle of Sabrina.
Bumblebee director Travis Knight was on board directing Uncharted but abandoned the project in December, continuing the pattern of years of filmmakers getting on board and then withdrawing from the film. Now Reuben Fletcher, who helmed Venom with Tom Hardy, is the last to take the job.
Holland is still committed to playing the part of a Nathan Drake, and Wahlberg will always play Sully. The games recounted Nathan’s adventures as an adult, a charismatic treasure hunter, and a semi-con man who traveled the world with his mentor Sully in search of legendary wealth and solving the greatest mysteries in history. However, based on the cast, the film will follow a young Nathan. (A flashback sequence in Uncharted 3 shows Nathan as a child when he meets Sully for the first time.)
Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote the script’s final draft, and the film is slated for release on March 5, 2021. At Pixar’s Onward premiere on February 18, Holland said it would start shooting in “four weeks.”
“One of my favorite video games ever is the fourth Uncharted game [A Thief’s End]… Unbelievable,” he told IGN. “And lots of the inspiration from the film has come from that game in particular.”