Uncharted Movie: Who Is Ruben Fleischer, The Film’s Ultimate Director?

Uncharted Movie: Who Is Ruben Fleischer, The Film’s Ultimate Director?
Image: Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP

The Uncharted movie is finally coming after being in development since 2008, and has had its fair share of changes when it comes to who’s sitting in the director’s chair.

Over the last 14 years of development, Uncharted has gone through six separate directors: David O. Russell, who directed  Joy and American Hustle; Neil Burger, who directed Voyagers and the first Divergent movie; Seth Gordon, who directed Baywatch and Identity Thief; Shawn Levy, who directed Free Guy and the Night At The Museum movies; Dan Trachtenberg, who directed 10 Cloverfield Lane and the Portal: No Escape short film; and Travis Knight, who directed Kubo and the Two Strings and Bumblebee.

In that time of directorial changes, we also saw changes in casting too. While we now know that Tom Holland will be taking up the reigns of Nathan Drake as the film is now planned as a prequel to the games, originally that role was planned for Mark Wahlberg, who is now playing Sully. Talk about ageing out!

I don’t know about you, but judging from their filmography, there were a lot of different ways the Uncharted movie could’ve gone. They are all very different directors. But who’s directing it now?

Who is the current Uncharted director?

The man currently at the head of the Uncharted film is Ruben Fleischer. Fleischer is a director in the film, television, music video, and commercial worlds. You may know him from his first feature film Zombieland, or the three Burger King commercials he directed.

Fleischer directed both Zombieland and Zombieland: Double Tap, but also directed the action thriller film Gangster Squad and the Spider-Man villain spin-off Venom. In terms of television, he’s directed episodes of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, Superstore, and Santa Clarita Diet. 

What’s his approach to directing Uncharted?

According to an interview with EmpireFleischer seems to be going in the direction of taking bits and pieces from the game but ultimately making the movie its own, unlike other video game films that have struggled with the different format. “Part of the problem is that they’re trying to recreate the games,” the director explained. “Because players have had such a visceral experience, I don’t think you can compete with that. I wanted to make sure it worked as a film first.”

He continues. “We tried to take inspiration from the games whenever we could, but we also wanted to have original set pieces that aren’t a part of the games at all. I’ve never seen anything like our third-act finale before and I think it will blow people away.”

Fleischer also mentions that Tom Holland played an active role in deciding how his character is portrayed and how the world works around him, aiding the director with his newfound knowledge of the game. “If Drake was going to go solve a puzzle, Tom wanted to make sure that it felt like a moment from the game. If he felt like getting the clue was too easy, he would look for ways to complicate it, just to add that layer of believability and make it feel as close to the games as possible.”

Uncharted trailer

If the trailer is anything to go by for now, it seems like we’ll be getting plenty of nods to the games within the film. When making a movie based on a video game, directors need to find that perfect balance between staying as true as they can to the source material and making the movie stand out as its own thing. If they get that right, then it’ll be fourteen years well spent. If not, oh well! Chuck it in the pile with Super Mario Bros.

The Uncharted movie will be hitting Australian cinemas on February 17th, 2022.

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