Uncharted Movie to Begin Filming Early Next Year, Won't Retell the Games' Story

Director Seth Gordon talks about his vision for the movie's story and what he'd like to see from the actor who plays Nathan Drake.

If all goes according to plan, the long-in-development Uncharted movie will finally begin filming early next year, according to director Seth Gordon. He also says the movie will not be a rehash of the stories told in the games.

"I think very early next year. That's the plan," Gordon told Zap2It when asked how soon filming would begin. He added, "That's like tomorrow, essentially, because the prep is so complicated for the movie."

Gordon, whose previous work as a film director includes Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief, is still without a lead actor. When David O. Russell was set to direct, Mark Wahlberg was lined up to assume the role of series protagonist Nathan Drake. With Wahlberg out of the picture, Gordon is still hoping to find someone like him.

"I want it to be a great actor," he said. "That's number one, and then if it's someone who has an actual jaw, that's even better. The game is so well done that you need it to live up to that. There's no way we'd do the inverse of that where it's somebody famous who can't [act]."

In the games, Nathan Drake is played by Nolan North, one of the most prolific video game voice actors today.

"I love the complexity and frankly the sophistication of the storytelling in the game, and we aspire to that." -- director Seth Gordon

In addition to the identity of any of its actors, the film's story also remains a mystery, but Gordon says it won't simply be a silver-screen version of the games' stories. "It's going to honor the mythology of the game, but I would say honor some of the most interesting stuff from the first one and build from there," he explained. "There's some stuff that isn't in the game."

"I love the complexity and frankly the sophistication of the storytelling in the game, and we aspire to that--but don't want to tell the exact same story, of course--so something that doesn't break the rules of what it did but expands," he added. "Because I feel like the people who play the games and know them well don't want to just see the same story told. You want extra shades."

Sony has been trying to put together an Uncharted movie for years--it was announced in 2009--only to have plans fall apart repeatedly. When Russell was set to direct, Wahlberg's name wasn't the only big name brought up for the movie: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson were all under consideration. After Russell dropped out in 2011, Limitless director Neil Burger was attached to direct, but he, too, left the project in 2012.

Likewise, a multitude of writers have been brought on board during the project's life, including Kyle Ward (Agent 47); Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (National Treasure); and Thomas Dean Donnelly (Sahara, 2011's Conan the Barbarian). Uncharted developer Naughty Dog famously asked Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg of Superbad fame to write the movie, but was turned down. "It's just going to be Indiana Jones," Goldberg said last year. "If we could figure out a way to make it not Indiana Jones, it'd be awesome."

The next game in the Uncharted series, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, is currently in the works for PlayStation 4. Its development is being headed up by The Last of Us leads Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann.

How much of the story from the Uncharted games would you like to see kept intact for the movies? Let us know what approach you hope Gordon and company take in the comments below.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
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Discussion

64 comments
kittikat04
kittikat04

I can understand nathan fillion as the majority choice to play nathan drake. I would pick him to play the part. Slither was a fave. But how about D.C Douglas?

wildstallion
wildstallion

Nathan Fillion is only 43. If he gets fit for the role as LOTS of actors have to do, it'll be awesome and he can shave off a few years. He's the ONLY actor for the job.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

I guess it will be pretty much Indiana Jones?

McDog3
McDog3

Nathan Fillion is the obvious choice, in both appearance and persona.

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

Nathan Fillion may be getting old but I think he can still pass as a Drake in his early 30s.  Problem is hes so damn fat now, getting too comfy from all that Castle money.

Destructio92
Destructio92

It has to be Nathan Fillion surely?! He's perfect for the role, just needs to lose a bit of weight :P

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

I think Fillion 10 years ago would have been a great choice for Drake. Now though, I was thinking of someone younger and who's a gamer that would respect the character like Zachary Levi.

Ashbfc
Ashbfc

It's gonna be terrible like all video game movies

HapiJoel
HapiJoel

...but you can bet there will be a game that will retell the movie!

Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

Video game movies without any kind of creative control from the devs always fail.

Nevsek
Nevsek

I must disagree with some.  Unlike the previous directors, I think at least Gordon's words are a good sign.  He does know and respect the games, the stories, and the characters ,and wants to honor them.  He understands the uncharted universe!  But, he want to expand (not reinvent) that universe.  Good signs!

gokuss4z
gokuss4z

Please just cancel this movie before it's to late............

Chronologo
Chronologo

"His own vision" this has been the deadline of doom for game based movies. I don't have any faith or excitement for this

jedicommand7
jedicommand7

I kinda think Nathan Fillion is getting a little old to play "young" Nathan Drake anymore.

billy19joseph
billy19joseph

I quite like hearing that this is going to be a unique story inspired by the games and not a re-telling. Such a technique can work wonders and gives the film makers creative freedom to produce a better product. Granted, there's probably lots of a examples spread across movies and TV where this freedom was squandered but every now and then something like the TV show 'Hannibal' rocks up which, without following it's source material precisely, does a tremendous job overall.

blueknight1st
blueknight1st

Like so many others have said, Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake.

rob19ny
rob19ny

Nathan Fillion and Nathan Drake look so alike.

Robboninja
Robboninja

Nathan Fillion as
Nathan Drake
That is all

JtheGrind
JtheGrind

How about Jeremy Rener as Drake?

bluedeathking
bluedeathking

"Because I feel like the people who play the games and know them well don't want to just see the same story told. You want extra shades." this line confuses me. Is he saying that he will retell story of the game, just in a different way? 

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Are you talking about the Uncharted movie in theaters, or the Uncharted movie on PS4? ;)

Barighm
Barighm

Not sure why they even bother. Unlike MS, Sony actually owns film studios and can bring their own guys in to make the movie. Don't they trust the writers and directors behind the games? Can't they bring in the CG directors from Uncharted and games like Heavy Rain which are practically movies already? You then bring in the movie guys as consultants.

sandman338
sandman338

Working title for new movie is Tomb Raider.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

drakes personality reminds me a lot of ryan reynolds...

elheber
elheber

Nathan Fillion of Firefly/Serenity would make a great Nathan Drake. THAT is how you make it not Indiana Jones.

eva02langley
eva02langley

Will not retell games and will suck ass!

lbryson8
lbryson8

I am glad they are remaking indiana jones, the last one was terrible 

endorbr
endorbr

My ideal cast since they won't use the game cast (for mass market appeal) would be Bradley Cooper for Drake, Bruce Campbell for Sully, and Blake Lively for Elena.

guydude3412
guydude3412

I...i...thought ms can only make movies and tv

daltonbay
daltonbay

Bradley Cooper would make a fine Drake. He's about the right age, sounds like him, & looks the part.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@HapiJoel Not from Naughty Dog there won't. There's no way in hell they'd touch something like that. I could see them doing something like releasing a remastered bundle of the first three games about the time the movie drops though.

NbAlIvEr10000
NbAlIvEr10000

@JtheGrind Thats actually a pretty good one.....never thought about him before, but he could do it justice I think.  A lot of people are set on Nathan Fillion just because he sort of looks like him, but I think his range as an actor won't suit Nathan Drake; although I could be wrong.  Mark Whalberg though is probably the worst idea I've heard of since the reveal of this horrible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie!

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

@bluedeathking "You want extra shades" as, you want to see new stuff (i think). But i really find ironic the all " I feel like the people who play the games and know them (...)"......yeah, because to hell with the non-gamers.

That's so stupid of a thing to say is not even funny.

You do what you think it's best, not because "gamers don't want to see it again".

bluedeathking
bluedeathking

@Barighm  that might not be a bad idea though there are people who prefer live action not CGI

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@lbryson8 I was thinking more along the lines of National Treasure, but yea... Indiana Jones with aliens is just wrong!  WROOONG!

maltnut
maltnut

@nl_skipper @lbryson8 

I was always confused about that.

Face melting magic box, okay.

Heart ripping out with bare hands and magic glow rocks, okay.

Millennium old templar knight guarding magic cup full of desiccating water, okay.

But heavens forbid there's aliens!