Remember when 2016 was going to be the year that saved video game movies?
Yeah, about that.....
With two big-budget video game adaptations from critically acclaimed directors on the release calendar in the form of Duncan Jones' Warcraft and Justin Kurzel's Assassin's Creed, the popular thought was that after years of misfires, things would finally turn around for the genre. Instead, those two films just put video game movies in a deeper hole. Warcraft was a box office hit in foreign markets with over $386 million, but it failed to crack $50 million in the US and it was widely panned (I kinda liked it, but whatever). Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed received equally ghastly reviews, and it didn't have the strong overseas grosses as a consolation prize. There's no doubt that there's a big market of gaming fans who would show up for these films, but the quality just hasn't been there. Sony has been attempting to turn Uncharted, the popular adventure gaming series, into a movie for years with no avail. The film popped up on the release calendar multiple times, but it seemed to continually find a way to be stuck in development hell. But today, a surprising report indicates that Sony is moving forward and might actually get this thing going this time around.
According to Deadline, Tom Holland, the star of this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, will be playing Nathan Drake in an upcoming adaptation of Uncharted. The film will be directed by Shawn Levy, who was last at the helm for several episodes of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. Sony will also be commissioning a new draft of the script, adjusting the previously completed versions to turn the story into a prequel. Per Deadline's sources, this idea came from Sony chief Tom Rothman, who was so impressed by the latest cut of Homecoming that he decided Holland was the perfect choice to play Drake.
Look, I generally think that video game movies are a terrible idea. They haven't worked so far, and I don't know why anyone thinks that things will magically change. But I'm willing to make an exception for Uncharted, which has a simple enough concept that even someone who has never played the games can understand- it's basically Indiana Jones meets Jason Bourne, with some heist and horror elements thrown in. It doesn't seem to have a convoluted mythology, which makes it a prime candidate for a film adaptation. Tom Holland is an excellent choice, and Levy showed his strength as a filmmaker with Stranger Things. We'll see if this thing really gets off the ground, but this is certainly a positive development.
Image courtesy of Sony