It’s been a very, very long time coming — more than a decade, in fact, which sometimes isn’t a good sign — but the very first movie based on a Sony PlayStation property is now a reality: Uncharted is coming to cinemas around the world on February 18th. It’s also the first film accompanied by the PlayStation Productions banner, a Sony subsidiary focused on movies and TV series based on the rich history of popular PlayStation brands and franchises (still distributed by Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures of course) and, understandably, expectations are high. A tad… too high, maybe?
The first official trailer of Uncharted is out and, well, it certainly looks like a film intending to do its source material justice: a few of the action sequences shown are strongly inspired from certain parts of Uncharted 3 and Uncharted 4, for example, while the cinematography seems to use quite a few videogame-like angles and setups. The fact, of course, that every Uncharted game’s presentation style was “cinematic” and almost “directed” to begin with, helps: that was, in a sense, the whole point of bringing these modern productions to the big screen, apart from the obvious business reasons.
The movie is a prequel, timeline-wise, to the first Uncharted video game published for the PS3 way back in 2007, so protagonists Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are also way younger than their PlayStation selves. The film works as a kind of origin story for Nathan Drake, the Uncharted franchise’s main character, so Holland being very young makes a bit of sense (being too cute is another matter entirely). The movie takes a few liberties with the timeline too, though, as fellow treasure hunter and occasional love interest Chloe Frazer, making an appearance in the trailer, comes into Drake’s life way later. Sophia Taylor Ali is an amazing choice for the role, though!
It’s interesting to note that it was Wahlberg who was originally supposed to play Drake when the movie started production in 2010 (the film changed no less than seven different directors in the meantime), but… well, age caught up with him, so now he’s playing Drake’s mentor Sully. It’s kind of weird because Sully is also way older in the games (no mustache too), but hey — this is a film that Sony surely hopes to develop as a franchise too, so there’s room to grow for both Holland and Wahlberg.
The February release of this Uncharted film is well-timed. Sony has announced that Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection — comprising of Uncharted 4 and the standalone adventure Uncharted: The Lost Legacy featuring Chloe Frazer — will be out for PlayStation5 and PC around that time, making it an interesting movie tie-in of sorts (remember those?). PlayStation Productions is also in the process of wrapping up another Sony/Naughty Dog property, this time in the form of a TV show: The Last of Us for HBO (starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie).
It’s clear that Sony has invested a lot in PlayStation Productions: there are at least three more known PlayStation properties in the pipeline — a Ghost of Tsushima film, a Twisted Metal TV show and a Sly Cooper animated TV show — while Sony Pictures’ CEO went on the record in December 2020 about ten different PlayStation-based productions being prepared, three of which are movies and seven are TV shows. With Uncharted and Ghost of Tsushima already known, which PlayStation property the third film is based on is anyone’s guess. But God of War would be… well, epic, wouldn’t it?