Who Even Wants An Uncharted Movie?

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Who Even Wants An Uncharted Movie?

I love the Uncharted games. I’ve played through all of them at least a few times. I’m currently looking to buy a PS Vita just to play through Uncharted Golden Abyss again. Yet, I have nearly zero interest in an Uncharted film. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Even if millions upon millions of people did want this film, after a decade of delays, multiple directors coming and going and an ever-changing cast, this film feels too late and too messy to even work.

The first Uncharted game came out back in 2007 for the PS3. About two years later, around the time of Uncharted 2‘s release, the first news of an Uncharted film began to spread. Since then the film has had 6 different directors come and go as the film lingers around like a zombie. As I’m writing this the film doesn’t have an officially announced director. Also in the last decade, the Uncharted games have stopped. Lost Legacy was the last game released in the franchise and that came out back in 2017. Considering this film currently has no director or release date, it seems unlikely it will be out anytime before 2022. Probably later than that. At this point, it really feels like this film missed its best possible release window.

Back in like 2010 or so, an Uncharted film probably would have done fairly well. But today, in 2020, it seems more and more likely that if we ever get an Uncharted film, it won’t be worth the wait and it won’t be a box office winner.

Even as a large Uncharted fan, someone who has played all the games and enjoys the characters a lot, I don’t have any excitement for a film based on the games. These things are already giant interactive films in a lot of ways. Remove the gameplay and you are left with the story. And none of their plots are incredibly fresh or groundbreaking. So any movie based on the series would have to tell a new tale of Nathan Drake and friends or risk boring a lot of people. Because look, that train scene in Uncharted 2 is great and all, but do any of you remember why he was on that train? I don’t. Sure, films have been released with less plot and worst narratives, but those were also bad films and not a great sign for a possible Uncharted movie.

Also, we need to talk about the Indiana Jones problem.

In my mind, the Uncharted games often feel like unlicensed Indiana Jones games. They let you live out the same fantasy of being a tough, smart, handsome adventurer who makes things up as he goes, punching bad guys and saving the day. Considering we don’t get Indiana Jones games anymore, the Uncharted franchise has been a nice way to fill that hole.

But move Uncharted from a Playstation to a movie theatre and suddenly it is being directly compared with some of the most beloved and influential action-adventure films of all time. And I already know who wins that fight. Plus, it’s exciting to relive Indiana Jones-like chases and fights in a modern video game. But watching that play out in a movie is going to feel like watching a lousy remake starring not-Harrison Ford.

The Uncharted movie will probably come out one day. It’s still a well-known series that could easily be brought over to film, even if the end results might end up looking like a bad fan film. But considering how awful video game movies usually are and how messy the production history of this film has been, I’m not excited to watch the film adventures of Nathan Drake.

Besides, we have that Uncharted “fan” film made by Nathan Fillion which was wonderful but also felt like it was almost out of steam by the end. This might just be a concept better off staying locked away in some dusty dungeon at some film studio.

Comments

  • I might have been interested once but it probably would’ve been awful even if it’d gone ahead back in the day. Not interested at all now, far too late and I can’t see it ever happening.

  • I’m interested in the right uncharted movie. If I saw a trailer for an Indiana Jones-style adventurefilm set in the modern day, starring Nathan Fillion I’d certainly check it out.

    If I were adapting, I’d certainly use the brother storyline and including Nadine as a way of bolstering character conflict interaction that isn’t really there for much of the first few games.

  • I love the Uncharted games. I’ve played through all of them at least a few times. I’m currently looking to buy a PS Vita just to play through Uncharted Golden Abyss again.

    Ahh, there’s the problem. See, the author actually likes playing Uncharted, so they don’t need a movie – they have the game.

    For folks like me who get frustrated/bored by the way Uncharted does puzzling/platforming/shooting but who dig the story and the charm… the game would be better as a movie. The movie is for people who don’t/won’t play the game, but still want to dig the movie.

    And I’d say there’s more of us than there are of the author.

    Now, I know this rings false for folks whose only friends are also gaming enthusiasts – those who work in the industry especially have a tendency to think that ‘gaming’ is more prevalent than it actually is, especially when they try to equate the sit-down-at-a-console-with-a-AAA-blockbuster gaming audience with the folks who have Candy Crush or Dr Mario installed on their phone for when they’re taking a shit.

    But decades of work functions, pub/bar/nightclub chats, smoko breaks, or shooting the shit over caravan park BBQs has taught me that there are massive, vast swathes of the populace who would have no fucking clue who Nathan Drake is, have never heard of Uncharted and couldn’t even tell you if there’s more than one type of xbox, let alone which one is the latest, and those who do but who are only vaguely aware that they could use the machine to play something other than FIFA and CoD, but would totally be in the market for Uncharted’s modern take on Indiana Jones meets Rambo.

    • I can agree with most of that but I still don’t think those people particularly want an Uncharted movie. The part where they know it was based on something that already exists is a big selling point but the genre is pretty bad at drawing in people over the age of 12. I dunno, I just can’t help but feel like an adaption would require a budget that the genre has never shown signs of being able to support. I can see a lot of potential for a great movie, I just can’t see much of an audience for it.

      • Oh, I dunno… National Treasure was pretty popular and that’s kiiiiiind of similar? Although it’s hard to tell how much of that is just thanks to the shitposting memeification of the truly awful Nicholas Cage.

        • There are plenty of examples. The Indiana Jones movies, National Treasure, Tomb Raider, Goonies… Even the PotC movies were all entertaining, even if they did run out of steam by the end. Done right, they’re fun for generations. Monty Pythons Holy Grail for example.

          Done wrong, you get Cutthroat Island…

  • I wouldn’t mind an Uncharted movie as long as it’s a GOOD Uncharted movie. The problem isn’t with Uncharted, the problem is the long, sad history of making shit movies based on video games.

  • I want an Uncharted tv show. Netflix or whoever. 8 episodes per season as I’ve said elsewhere. Have it be about the investigation of an artefact, the locating, the adventure, the double cross, the retrieval etc. Hell, have flashbacks to him as a kid. You could do so much more than in 2 hours. Cast a familiar face as Nathan Drake… (Cough Jensen Ackles just saying, he’s only 41 as Fillion is starting to get too old now unfortunately (he’s 49 this year…). Anyhow, if wishes were horses eh…

  • I think a 2022 release would work the ps5 will come out late 2021 and this could be an opportunity to coincide with uncharted 5 for ps5

  • I want an Uncharted movie, and I specifically want it because it’s an Indiana Jones knock-off. The last good Indiana Jones movie is older than the adventure serials that inspired Indiana Jones – it’s not going to be measured against Indiana Jones, in the same way that Indiana Jones wasn’t measured against the adventure serials it knocked off.

    I think Uncharted’s a good blueprint for how to do an adventure movie in the 2010s – less serious than Indiana Jones, the locals are basically harmless background, your protagonists are roguish treasure hunters and your antagonists are mercenaries and local warlords, and the prize is ill-gotten colonial loot. Whether that still holds up by the time the movie actually comes out is unclear.

      • The Tomb Raider movies are a lot more po-faced than Uncharted tends to be. Drake, Sully and Elena banter back and forth in a way that Lara Croft decidedly does not, and the stakes tend to be a lot lower – Drake never saves the world by finding a treasure, and his antagonists don’t have the logistics or resources of Tomb Raider’s Trinity.

  • It’s obvious that whoever is running the production doesn’t know what they are doing with this IP. If this film ever reaches the cinemas, it will likely be bad, because the people producing it are likely incompetent (They’ve gone through 6 directors? Man, that’s a lot of wasted time).

    I have zero faith in the current producers to make this film, and if by some miracle they manage to make it, I have zero faith that it will be good. The only way we’ll ever see a good Uncharted film is if the current holder of the movie rights gives it to someone who knows what they are doing, and that is unlikely to happen.

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