After a decade plus in development hell, it’s finally here: last week, Sony Pictures finally unveiled the official trailer for Uncharted, the movie adaptation of the Playstation video game franchise of the same name. Starring Tom Holland as Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, the movie appears to be a prequel to the games, detailing how Drake first met and grew close to mentor Sully. The plot reflected in the trailer seems to diverge from the video game canon of Drake’s origin story, and in a strange twist also seems to connect very nicely with its predecessor: a fan film created in 2018 starring Nathan Fillion.
The film, which first entered the production phase in 2008, has undergone numerous personnel changes in the last thirteen years. As previously reported here on SciFi.Radio, Bryan Cranston was originally pegged to play the role of Sully when Shawn Levy was still slated to direct in 2018. Tom Holland was still cast in the lead, but the more mature and wizened Cranston spoke to the potential of a film more in the vein of Uncharted as we know it now: Nathan, the erstwhile teenage thief and Sully, the more paternal mentor.
However, this was at the same time that another version of Uncharted was released on YouTube—the aforementioned fan film that featured Fillion as Nathan Drake and Stephen Lang as Sully. The roughly fifteen minute fan film directed by Allan Ungar depicted Fillion and Lang as precisely that: Nathan and Sully as the world knows and loves them, searching for the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar alongside Elena Fischer (Mircea Monroe). The short was publicized on Fillion’s social media, and received critical acclaim not only from the public and fans of the franchise, but from Shawn Levy himself and even from Naughty Dog, makers of the Uncharted series.
The enthusiasm and warmth with which the fan film was received led to aggressive campaigning for an official release with Fillion as Drake, and while this movie from Sony does not feature the Firefly alumnus as the protagonist, there may be some indicators that the little passion project may have influenced the Sony release. In the short, Elena criticizes the boys for being tough on cars, and a rather expensive vehicle is hanging out of the hangar of a plane in mid-flight in the trailer. Holland’s younger Drake has a little bit of an attitude, but pairs his modest swagger with the easy knowledge Fillion brought to an older Drake, discovering the papers of Afonso de Albuquerque. Villain Antonio Banderas also appears in the trailer with the same quiet but powerful poise as Geno Segers had in his portrayal of Diego, a henchman for the buyer of the bracelet Nathan stole in the fan film.
Watch the pair side by side – what do you think? Once you’re done with that, be sure to mark your calendars: Uncharted starring Tom Holland comes to theaters February 18, 2022.
Liz Carlie, the Mad Woman with a Box, a regular book reviewer for SCIFI.radio and a regular guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. She has been in and around science fiction fandom for years, and works with the American Red Cross on blood drives at science fiction conventions all over Southern California.