Sony has been trying to get an Uncharted film off the ground for years, almost a decade in fact. The project has gone through several directors, screenwriters, and actors over the years but it has never been made clear what exactly is stopping this project from going off the ground.
The latest news on the issue came early last year and reported that Tom Holland will be playing Nathan Drake and Shawn Levy will be directing the movie. Tom Holland is the current star of Marvel’s Spider-Man movies, the latest release being Sider-Man: Homecoming and the upcoming film is titled Spider-Man: Far From Home. The latter is scheduled to hit theaters July 5th, 2019. Holland has also starred in The Impossible, beside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor in 2012.
Shawn Levy is known for his work on Stranger Things, the Night at the Museum series, The Internship, and Cheaper By The Dozen. He is also quite the prolific producer, having been a part of Arrival and The Spectacular Now. Luckily it seems like quick-witted drama that also serves as character development is his forte, so making the official Uncharted film is a good choice.
All of that said, however, the Sony film still has no release date, not even a projected one. As such, in the meantime, Allan Ungar has created a short 14-minute fan film starring Nathan Fillion. So here are 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know about the Uncharted fan film, even if you’ve already watched it.
1. Acquiring Nathan Fillion
In an interview with io9, director Allan Ungar revealed just how he wooed Nathan Fillion to the role of Nathan Drake. Apparently, Ungar knew producer Alex Lebovici, who also knew Fillion. It’s all about connections! Ungar let Lebovici know about his Uncharted idea and the producer obligingly passed on the information to Fillion.
When Ungar and Fillion met, they hit it off right away and Ungar wasted no time pitching the idea, stating “I know we just met. But I’m not going to proceed with this if you’re not even interested because there’s absolutely no point.” Ungar made it very clear just how well-suited to the role he believed Fillion was, so much so that he refused to continue the project without the actor.
Luckily, Fillion was just as enamored with the idea and complimented Ungar’s passion, “it was clear to me that he loves, honors, and respects what makes Uncharted so great, which is the story and the characters.”
They’d only just met and Ungar proposed the project. Fillion was already down, of course, as fans of his work in Firefly have been suggesting it for years.
2. How Much Did The Uncharted Fan Film Cost?
You would think the sheer professional quality of the Uncharted fan film would make it cost an exceptional amount – unfortunately, we’ll never know. Despite how beautiful the editing and cinematography is, Ungar will not say how much this 14-minute film cost. Ungar only reveals that the film was shot in five days and jokes that it took all of his Bar Mitzvah money.
3. How They Made The Uncharted Fan Film So Good
Much like Sony decided to avoid making a carbon copy of an Uncharted game, Ungar wanted to pave his own way for the Uncharted fan film. He wrote his own story of a lost city filled with treasure and threw in a little history to really make it feel like yet another Uncharted adventure.
There were restraints because of the budget, hence the length of the film, but Ungar found strength in that limitation. It meant that he could focus on character and story, “when we’re going to do action or were going do dialogue, [I would ask] ‘how can we ensure that the story and the character traits come first?’”
4. The Uncharted Fan Film Was Just A Passion Project
Interestingly enough, Ungar hadn’t really been planning on making the film. He had been working on a project when it suddenly got pushed back, giving the director more time on his hands than originally anticipated.
Looking for something to do, Ungar was struck with the idea that he could finally work on “something that had come to [him] a few years ago,” something he truly passionate about. Since no one else had done something like it yet, Ungar decided now was the time to beat them to the punch. He seized the day, as it were, in a way that should inspire young filmmakers to stay true their passions as well.
5. No Plans For More
Though this 14-minute film ends on a cliff-hanger, it is important to realize that there are no plans to continue the project. The video was everything they had wanted to do. In addition, they are likely limited by finances and time; Ungar and Fillion certainly have other projects they need to work on. Fillion states that the project was “already a dream come true” and Ungar adds that “if this lives and dies as just a 15-minute piece we’ll have done everything we need to do.”
That said, both Fillion and Ungar are perfectly willing to keep the possibility alive. Ungar is keen to say that “if Sony or Netflix or Amazon or YouTube or someone came forward and said, ‘Hey, there’s enough demand for this, do you guys want to continue this story?’ We’d be very happy to talk about it.”
Never say never, but if Sony is trying to push the project on their own, you can be assured that they won’t be contacting Ungar or Fillion. This is especially unlikely when the studio has already announced Tom Holland and Shawn Levy unless they decide to change their minds again.
Despite Nathan Fillion being the clear choice to play the strapping young Nathan Drake, it is clear that Sony has other plans. Netflix is a little more likely to take on the project, as they seem keen on dipping their toes into any new project they can; even if they don’t always follow through to the end.