The success of an Uncharted film franchise depends upon proper casting.
Last month, fans of the popular Uncharted video game franchise got a taste of perfect casting when a fan film showed them what Nathan Drake could be like if played by Nathan Fillion.
This was a film made without the support of Sony or Naughty Dog, but it brought the star power and production value fans craved. The only thing it didn’t bring was longevity. It was a short film, which openly promised no further chapters. Just a taste of perfection.
In response, the director of the current feature length production of Uncharted weighed in on his thoughts of the short film. Shawn Levy has been working on the production with star Tom Holland of Spiderman slated to play the adventurous Drake. The production has been stymied by delays and issues, leaving fans waiting for the film. While Holland’s youth allows for more growth and more films as the franchise develops, he’s not the actor I’d prefer to see in this beloved role.
Nathan Drake is an adventurer, believed to be a descendant of famed explorer Sir Francis Drake. In an Indiana Jones-esque format, Drake blends history and romanticism as he fights against treasure hunters in his search for truth and preservation.
The game depicts Drake often climbing, fighting, and exploring. The character needs to be able to portray intelligence, skill, and physicality. Holland may well be able to offer those skills, but he has a youthful exuberance that belies the heart of the character.
In Uncharted 4, players are given the chance to play as a young Nathan Drake. They see his backstory and the events that forged his personality. Drake is witty and sarcastic, and that speaks to a darker history for the character that players see in the most recent installment.
Holland may be well-equipped to play a youthful Drake, but that’s not the Drake I want to see. Holland may be too young, and Fillion (while perfect overall) may be slightly too advanced to promise continued films. The person that I think could be the perfect Drake, to produce multiple films, offer the humor and cynicism blended with fight and physicality is Jensen Ackles.
The Supernatural star has honed his Drake-like skills over 13 seasons of the show. He is in the perfect position to bring mysticism to the history, athleticism to the fighting, and wit to the repartee.
Drake has a duo that assists on his travels. Elena Fisher is a reporter/journalist that becomes a partner and love interest for Drake throughout the games. Voiced by American actress Emily Rose (Haven), I believe the actress may be the perfect person to carry on the character on the big screen. Alternately, Jensen’s own wife, Danneel Ackles, could also be considered to bring the abrasive personality and adventurous spirit to life while capitalizing on the inherent chemistry with her husband.
Victor “Sully” Sullivan completes the trio. The wise-cracking treasure hunter became a mentor to young Drake, and they formed a friendship that lasted decades. To me, this character has always been destined for Bruce Campbell. The Army of Darkness and Burn Notice star has all the elements necessary to give Sully the blend of intelligence, street smarts, and laid-back style that he needs.
These casting choices will likely never happen, and I’m sure Holland will do justice to a young Drake. However, I will always see these characters best portrayed by the actors offered here.