uncharted director

Though Sony has been trying for nearly 10 years, the studio still hasn’t been able to adapt the popular video game series Uncharted into a blockbuster movie. It’s experienced a revolving door of directors and that door continues to spin, because Real Steel and Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, the fourth person to be attached, has now vacated the position as well.

Yes, Sony will need yet another Uncharted director. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Levy is stepping away from the Uncharted film and will instead direct a movie called Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, Lil Rel, and Jodie Comer, which just received a green light. You can read more about that project here. In the meantime, Sony is on the hunt for a new filmmaker to bring Uncharted across the finish line.

Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Impossible) is still attached to play a young version of video game protagonist Nathan Drake, a globe-trotting treasure hunter who’s a descendant of Sir Francis Drake. In the games, Drake teams with a journalist named Elena Fisher and his old friend and mentor Victor Sullivan to discover lost cities and save the world – they’re cinematic, fast-paced, and in my mind, the perfect action-adventure games. Drake is a guy who flies by the seat of his pants, a crack shot who’s always ready with a loaded gun and a witty retort – think a more modern Indiana Jones, like a real Nathan Fillion type. (Fillion starred in a fan film earlier this year.) By exploring a younger take on the character, it seemed as if screenwriter Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces, The Grey) was going to be able to sidestep some of the inherent problems of bringing a video game to the big screen. It’s unclear if Carnahan’s finished script is still in play, but the movie adaptation is back in limbo again.

Levy, who’s also directed several episodes of Stranger Things, is the latest filmmaker to leave Uncharted high and dry. David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, Three Kings) was attached back in 2010 with Mark Wahlberg playing a more traditional version of Nathan Drake, and that iteration was courting Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci to play supporting roles. A few months later, Limitless director Neil Burger had replaced Russell in the director’s chair. That lasted until 2014, when Burger exited and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong, Horrible Bosses) signed on. He left the next year, and Levy came on board in 2016.

Will this movie ever get made? The games are popular and successful enough that it seems unlikely that Sony will abandon the concept (they already own the intellectual property rights, since the games were developed for their PlayStation platform). But at this point, the film might be as cursed as the gold of El Dorado in the game.

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