The Uncharted movie was delayed so many times that we started to think it was never going to get made. Now, after beginning production in March, Uncharted has wrapped filming, which means we’re one step closer to seeing Tom Holland as baby Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg as poorly-cast Sully. The Ruben Fleischer-directed flick is meant to serve as a prequel to the popular game series.
Over the summer, Forbes writer Scott Mendelson wrote an excellent article about how Hollywood keeps making the same mistake when it comes to adapting popular IP. That is, rather than just give fans what they want – a proper adaptation! – producers keep making prequels. Scott’s latest example was for Disney’s already-forgotten Artemis Foul adaptation, but we’ve seen this trend again and again: a big-budget movie adapts a popular property, but the entire movie is spent setting up a sequel. And the sequel – which usually never even gets made because the first film underperforms – is the movie that’s going to be the real adaptation. Or, as Scott put it:
If you want to tell the origin, you still better make damn sure to give the audience the thing they came to see in the first movie. If you spend the entire running time setting up the familiar status quo with an “Okay folks, the pieces are in place, you’ll get the movie you wanted this time next time!” tease, you’ll fail every single time…Think Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, which spent the entire 140-minute running time turning Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood into the outlaw we know and love. Think Warcraft, which was a feature-length prequel for the stories made popular in the video game series. Even Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels takes the whole movie to induct a third member onto the team. It ends on a “here’s a bunch of adventures involving our title trio (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska) which you didn’t get to see” montage. Not a single one of these films got a sequel.
Why am I bringing this up in a story about Uncharted wrapping production? Because it looks like the Uncharted movie is doing the same. Exact. Thing. This won’t be an adaptation of the games that so many people love, oh no. Instead, it’s a prequel to the games, introducing us to a young Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and a young Sully (Mark Wahlberg) as they begin their treasure-hunting adventures. And while I have no insider knowledge here, I’m 99.9% sure this movie is going to end with a set-up for a sequel that will be the real adaptation of Uncharted that everyone wanted to begin with. Call it a hunch.
Anyway, Uncharted is done filming. It opens July 16, 2021.
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