uncharted movie director

Sony’s Uncharted movie continues to be just as cursed as the treasure that protagonist Nathan Drake has sought in the games.

The long-brewing film adaptation of the popular video game series has just lost director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Bumblebee) to a scheduling conflict, making him the seventh filmmaker – seventh! – to be attached and then part ways with this project. But Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are still attached, leaving a sliver of hope that this movie will actually happen one day.

Tom Holland has been attached to play a Nathan Drake for years. He’ll portray a younger version of the sarcastic, treasure-hunting protagonist of the four Uncharted video games. (One of the games briefly allows you to play as a younger version of the character, but the primary action of the franchise takes place when Nathan is in his twenties or thirties.) Last November, Wahlberg (who was once being discussed to play an older version of Drake in an earlier incarnation of the project) signed on to play Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Drake’s mentor. But now Deadline says that filmmaker Travis Knight has left the project because Holland’s Spider-Man schedule has shortened the Uncharted movie timeline, so Sony will need to find a new director. Filming on the next Spider-Man movie is set to begin sometime this summer. Last we heard, the film was slated for a December 18, 2020 release date, but there was little chance that a huge film like this would have been able to film in the summer and meet that winter release date, so we’ll have to wait and see where Sony decides to slot this on the future release calendar.

The current script was written by Rafe Judkins (Chuck, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Iron Man alums Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, who also penned Punisher: War Zone, Transformers: The Last Knight (which also starred Wahlberg), and Men in Black: International.

It’s worth noting again that Knight is the seventh director to walk away from this movie, following in the footsteps of Shawn Levy, Joe Carnahan, David O. Russell, Neil Burger, Seth Gordon, and Dan Trachtenberg. At a certain point (and I think we’ve long passed that point), you have to wonder about the people who are shepherding this property through the studio and if they actually know what they want. Video game movies are notoriously difficult to pull off successfully, so I don’t blame anyone for taking a little extra time to make sure it’s being done in the correct way. But since this adaptation has been in the works for ten years, it seems like Uncharted might be the recipient of too many frustrating studio notes. It’s easy and simplistic for me to sit back and say, “maybe let a filmmaker who has a vision for this property just do their thing within the confines of a reasonable budget,” but at this point…maybe just try that?

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