Like an ancient artifact or a lost city, the film adaptation of the popular Uncharted video game series continues to prove elusive. Director Dan Trachtenberg has departed the film eight months after he signed on, making him the latest in a long line of filmmakers to abandon this expedition.
Deadline broke the news. Specific details about Trachtenberg’s departure remain unknown, but this is the second high-profile shake-up for Sony Pictures in a row. Just a few days ago, Sony ended their deal with Disney over sharing the character of Spider-Man, a move that proved deeply unpopular on the internet. Since Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is also currently set to play the snarky-but-heroic Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie, it’ll be interesting to see if that particular relationship holds strong or falls apart.
In the acclaimed game series, Nathan Drake is an explorer and criminal with a quick wit and a heart of gold who scours the world looking for treasure. Naturally, this means all kinds of action, adventure, and gunfights with people who mean him harm. The current iteration of the film is intended to be a prequel to games, with Holland playing a young, inexperienced Drake.
Perhaps it was too good to be true. Trachtenberg, the rising filmmaker behind 10 Cloverfield Lane and episodes of The Boys and Black Mirror, felt like a perfect fit for Uncharted, a franchise that expertly blends old school, Indiana Jones-esque thrills with modern sensibilities. It certainly helped that Trachtenberg is a noted gamer, coming from a younger generation of filmmakers who are actually familiar with the video game properties Hollywood keeps trying to bring to the big screen. And quite frankly, it’s been too long since Trachtenberg has directed a feature and 10 Cloverfield Lane is the kind of debut that demands a follow-up.
For now, Trachtenberg joins the likes of Shawn Levy, Joe Carnahan, David O. Russell, Neil Burger, and Seth Gordon on the list of filmmakers who were once attached to bring Uncharted to the big screen. The big question is not whether Uncharted gets made (because someone will drag it across the finish line), but what it will look like when it’s done. Because that is a very wild list of filmmakers with very different sensibilities.
A few months ago, Sony scheduled Uncharted for a December 18, 2020 release date. With the hunt on for a new director, it remains to be seen if the film will meet that date or if it’ll get postponed again. After all, the first post about this project on /Film comes from 2010. They might as well wait and make it a decade of delays at this point, just for the trivia factor.
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