Uncharted: Tom Holland was barely 14 when the project was born! – Cinema news

This Wednesday came out “Uncharted”, the adaptation of the cult video game created by the brilliant studio Naughty Dog, worn here by Tom Holland. And it’s an understatement to say that the film had a particularly complicated and painful genesis…

Uncharted: tom holland was barely 14 when the project was born! - cinema news
Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH

The history of films is punctuated with examples of works whose gestation was a long and painful way of the cross, for various reasons; sometimes plunging their developments into the abyss of Development Hell never to get out. Even if there are also some miracles in this area. Uncharted, the adaptation of the famous video game license created by the studio Naughty Dogwhich hits theaters this week, is a good example.

Between the multiple variants of the scenario, the number of directors who have succeeded at the helm to leave the ship almost as dry, a return to square one… It is an understatement to say that the film now directed by Ruben Fleischer has a long been a drunk and adrift boat.

To the point that we could legitimately wonder if, in the end, we really wanted to see an adaptation of a franchise yet already lovingly nurtured by trendy adventure films Indiana Jones, Allan Quatermain and other Pulp adventure comics, with an ultra-spectacular staging.

From Fighter to Uncharted

The project began to emerge from the ground at Sony Pictures in 2010. Although director Neil Burger was briefly considered to take the helm, it was ultimately David O. Russell who inherited the project. Except that the person concerned had aroused big cold sweats when we heard him talk about the future film. To wonder indeed if he had understood the universe of the game … But he had an ace up his sleeve: he had brought with him his friend Mark Wahlberg, who confirmed himself in November 2010 at the microphone of MTV that he would be part of the adventure.

Barely a month later, a first torpedo comes, and not the least. Justin Richmond, Game DirectorUncharted 3explained that there had never been any question of considering Mark Wahlberg in the role of Nathan Drake for the adaptation of the license made in Naughty Dog!

Uncharted: tom holland was barely 14 when the project was born! - cinema news
Naughty Dog

David O. Russell will be landed in 2011 for “different creatives”, a term that is always a bit of a catch-all. Then the project vegetated in limbo for 3 years, before the announcement in February 2014 of the arrival at the helm of Seth Gordon, the director of Scam à la carte. In July of the same year, Sony, rather confident, even ventured to give a release date: June 10, 2016. The evidence speaks for itself: we have passed the expiry date for a while…

What happened ? In June 2015, Seth Gordon in turn released the controls of the adaptation. Tom Rothman, the new big boss of the Sony studio, apparently wanted to change creative direction to consequently lower the budget. A turnaround that Gordon would not have accepted.

It will be necessary to wait even more than a year, in July 2016, for the project to be talked about again, through Joe Carnahan who rewrote the screenplay, after four different versions of its predecessors. In October 2016, a new director was announced: Shawn Levy.

“Drake is a treasure hunter, not an archaeologist!”

In February 2017, Carnahan released some snippets of information about his script: “When I wrote Uncharted, I didn’t do it halfway. I wrote it video game style. They’re rude, they swear, I kept it all. I clearly didn’t not written to be a PG-13 movie, I prepared it the way an Uncharted movie should be written”.

And to add: “You have to remember that it’s not just Drake, there’s also Sully, it’s a kind of buddy movie. There’s an “On the way to Morocco” atmosphere, like Hope and Crosby, he’s not strictly speaking an Indiana Jones. Drake doesn’t like museums. (…) He’s a treasure hunter, not an archaeologist. I think that’s what Amy Hennig did when she wrote the game.

She made Drake an anti-Indiana Jones. […] I wrote probably 4 of my craziest action scenes for the movie. I used the games as archetypes without picking one specifically, because those sequences are beautifully done. The goal is not just to transpose them into a film, it’s to offer new things, which I did. It was tough but really fun.”

Uncharted: tom holland was barely 14 when the project was born! - cinema news
Sony Pictures

In May 2017, the arrival of Tom Holland for the film was announced, to lend his features to a young version of Nathan Drake. The credo was now to do a kind of Prequel with the young character, like in the (very good) flashback sequence ofUncharted 3. Four months later, some sources even mentioned the arrival of Bryan Cranston, who would play the young Drake’s mentor, Victor Sullivan. But no official announcement has been made…

“I don’t really see what a direct adaptation could bring more…”

In March 2018, it was Neil Druckmann, Creative Director at Naughty Dog at the time and one of the designers of the game, who spoke about this adaptation: “We had a few conversations with Shawn Levy. He’s a very passionate person, I think he understood our intentions. We’ve evolved our feelings a bit about all these adaptations over the years. We started from “Oh my god! The cinema is watching us! There could be an adaptation of Uncharted in the cinema!

But the more time passes, the less we are excited about having a direct adaptation of the story that we have told, because we feel that we have already told it well enough from a cinematic point of view. So I don’t really see what a direct adaptation could bring more… [Shawn Levy] wanting to tell a different story of the four games, potentially featuring a young Nathan Drake, actually makes sense. It’s more interesting than wanting to remake Uncharted 1,2,3 and 4 on the big screen”.

cursed project

December 2018, new twist. the HollywoodReporter explained that Shawn Levy also let go of the controls. The irony is that he was leaving that project to make Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds in the title role, which tells the story of a cashier discovering he’s part of a real-world video game. , and that he is the only one who can save the world…

At this stage, Uncharted looks like a raft of the Medusa: 8 years of gestation, 5 different versions of scripts, 4 directors landed. Even with a confirmed Tom Holland in the main role, the project was still pedaling in semolina…

Uncharted: tom holland was barely 14 when the project was born! - cinema news
Sony Pictures

We won’t have to wait very long, mid-January 2019 in fact, for Sony to pull a new director out of his hat, Dan Trachtenberg, to whom we owe the film 10 Cloverfield Lane. For the anecdote, moreover, Trachtenberg had made himself known by signing at the time a formidable short film based on the video game Portal, developed by the Valve studio. A stroke of brilliance which had earned him to be hired in 2011 by Universal.

Dan Trachtenberg will not have time to delve into the manual: in mid-August 2019, he leaves to swell the ranks of the film’s landed directors, to be replaced by Travis Knight. It’s because there’s fire at home: filming is supposed to start in early 2020…

It’s Tom Holland’s fault!

The hope of restarting filming will be short-lived. The reason ? The now overloaded agenda of Tom Holland: the filming of Uncharted, so postponed, would come into conflict with that of the 3rd installment of Spider-Man. Considering the cash machine that this license represents for Sony, it was preferable to give priority to the spider-man; Nathan Drake will wait a little longer…

A fatal postponement for Travis Knight, forced to leave the adventure. Ruben Fleischer tumbles at the controls of the ship less than a month later, in January 2020. He is only ever the sixth candidate. The first shots begin in March 2020, just as the world is entering the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is to say if the fate persists. It was only in July that it resumed, to end in October of the same year.

The logical consequence of this oh so chaotic production, on which the Covid-19 pandemic has been added: Sony has pulled its hair out more than once with its release schedule. Already at the end of January 2020, the American release was postponed by 3 months, from December 18, 2020 to March 5, 2021.

Barely two months later, Sony Pictures announced that the US release was postponed to October 8, 2021, due to the pandemic. In April 2020, the firm advances the release to July 16, 2021. In January 2021, it again pushes the release to February 11, 2022. Then again, in April 2021, shifting the release ofUncharted on American territory on February 18, 2022. What to get lost even with a calendar in front of you.

Ironically, although this is quite understandable from a marketing point of view and given the importance of the license, Sony will prefer to let go in the Spider-Man: no Way Home arena before Uncharted, while the Jon Watts film was boxed after. Bet succeeded beyond the wildest hopes of the studio, since the film has just exceeded on US soil the receipts of Avatar by James Cameron, and that the work has now reached $ 1.8 billion at the worldwide Box Office. Useful to possibly soften or dampen the fate ofUnchartedif ever it were to be dented at the Box Office.

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