The internet launched into a frenzy last week when, seemingly out of nowhere, this video appeared on Youtube:
Yes, that’s right: Nathan Fillion has taken on the role of Uncharted’s wise-cracking fortune hunter Nathan Drake. Fans will recognize Fillion as the star of the cult-classic TV series “Firefly,” where he played the similarly roguish Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Fillion has long been eyed as a fan-favorite for the live-action version of Nathan Drake, and for good reason. He bears more than a passing resemblance to Drake, and has Drake’s smarmy grin down pat. See for yourself:
In the fan film, Fillion plays Drake as he finds himself in typically dire straits. He’s been captured by a drug cartel and is racing against their leader to find the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar. The short was conceived of and directed by Canadian director Allan Ungar. Also of note is a surprise cameo from actor Steven Lang as Victor “Goddamn” Sullivan, Nate’s cigar-chomping mentor. Lang is perhaps most well known for his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch, the villain of James Cameron’s movie “Avatar.” He’s an unexpected but note-perfect choice for Sullivan, and it’s clear that both actors gave their all for the production. Fillion even says he did many of his own stunts, and it shows. Everything from the gunplay to the fistfights to the dialogue feels like it came straight out of an Uncharted game.
So, with such a high caliber piece of work now on the Internet, many fans have been left asking: what exactly is going on with the Uncharted movie? Long story short: we aren’t sure. The story began in 2010, when Sony announced their plans to turn the franchise into a live-action film. The first iteration of the project had Mark Wahlberg playing Drake, with David O. Russell of “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” fame tapped to direct.
It wasn’t long until the project fell into development hell, with scrapped scripts, changing directors, and swirling rumors of different actors signing onto the project. The most recent iteration of the project had “Spiderman: Homecoming’s” Tom Holland signed on to play a young Drake, and would apparently be based on the sequence at the beginning of Uncharted 3 that saw Drake meeting Sully for the first time.
However, Sony has been quiet about the project since Holland’s casting was announced in 2017, and with Holland wrapped up in the MCU, the future of the project has been decidedly murky. That is, until Fillion’s fan film exploded onto the internet. Since dropping last week, the film has attracted a lot of attention. As of July 23, the video has topped 3.3 million views and has received a huge reaction on Twitter. Amy Hennig, creator of Nathan Drake and writer for the first three Uncharted games, had this to say:
You guys did a fantastic job, Allan! Warms these old cockles to see our baby brought to life like this. Never could've imagined it, when we set off on this journey 13+ years ago. Thank you! ❤️
— Amy Hennig (@amy_hennig) July 18, 2018
Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog’s Vice President, writer, and game director, also weighed in, keeping things short and simple:
— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) July 16, 2018
Actor Zachary Levi, also hopped into the fray, and it was clear he had some strong feelings about the role:
Listen, @NathanFillion, I’m only tweeting this out because you’re my friend, and this is a REALLY well made fan film. That said, I will fight you to play “Nathan Drake” in an “Uncharted” movie. Brass knuckles and all. 👊💃https://t.co/BcCwFRtuG5
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) July 20, 2018
Levi would also be a solid choice to play Nathan Drake. Most famous for his role as Chuck on the NBC series of the same name, he’s also well known for voicing Eugene in Disney’s “Tangled” and playing Fandral in Marvel’s “Thor” movies. With two wisecracking rogues under his belt, it’s not hard to imagine Levi slipping effortlessly into character as Nathan Drake. Drake’s voice actor, Nolan North, had his own opinions on the mini-feud.
Guys! Stop it. You’re both pretty.
– Nathan Drake https://t.co/b9aM4gxiwU
— Nolan North (@nolan_north) July 21, 2018
So, where does all this leave the official Uncharted film? Sony has yet to weigh in in any official capacity, but with more than one Hollywood star weighing in and positive reactions from Naughty Dog’s creative team, it’s safe to say that the fan film has caught their eye at the very least. Fillion himself isn’t shy about making his intentions known, either. He’s said directly that he’d like to take on the role in an official capacity, and Allan Ungar has also expressed interest in returning to direct.
With this flurry of activity, it’s hard to believe that Sony won’t make a statement at some point. After watching the fan film, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the next thing we hear from Sony is an announcement that Fillion will be donning Drake’s trademark shoulder holster and officially taking on the role.