Are We All Ready for Uncharted: The Movie?

Earlier this week, writer and director Allen Ungar released a short, live action (and non-monetized) film based on highly popular Uncharted video game series. Naturally, the film is  titled “Uncharted.” Fans of the games will immediately recognize our hero Drake (Nathan Fillion), his mentor/look-out Sully (Stephen Lang), and, if briefly, Drake’s plus-one, Elena (Mircea Monroe). As usual, Drake, that rascally thief, finds himself in a sticky situation, one that requires him to punch, kick, and shoot his way to freedom. Why, you ask? As it always is, the reason is treasure, and history…but mostly treasure. If you’ve not see the video, it’s worth a watch (or three).

Video from YouTube user Allan Ungar.

In just a few short days, the video’s racked up millions of views and thousands of positive comments. I have to admit that I’ve added to those views a few times, because the film is whole lots of fun. Outside of the fact that Nathan Fillion seems more than fit for the role of Drake, and that the cast as a whole is pretty stellar, this film, even when its “ripped from the video game” moments feel a little too on the nose, is an excellent homage to a game series that seems more than perfect for the silver screen. As has been well-touted about the series since nearly its inception, Uncharted is akin to a modern-day Indiana Jones. (NOT National Treasure. #sorrynotsorry.) Not only do both series contain plenty of fun and wit amid loads of action, but they contain relatable, imperfect characters; stories grounded in history (if somewhat mythical at times); and they’re enjoyably goofy without being too absurd. (The Crystal Skull sure tows that line finely, though.) So sure, why wouldn’t someone want to throw all their money into an Uncharted movie, or a TV show?

Let’s be honest. The phrase “video game movie” comes with baggage. A lot of it. And a lot of it not good. Putting Drake and his cohorts on display for an enjoyable fifteen minutes doesn’t mean that an extra seventy-five minutes will make things even better. I’ve been playing/replaying the Uncharted games (caveat: I’ve not yet gotten to Uncharted 4), and as much fun as they can be in between the main stories, their general plots are pretty basic, and pretty Indiana Jones-like. Should someone tackle an Uncharted feature film, a good bit of meat will need to be added to those bones. Also, in our current social climate, Uncharted’s lack of diversity and, to be fair, reliance on stereotypes, does it no favors. Further, if one was to truly ape the cinematics of the series, as a number of the gun fight scenes in the fan film do, that treads awfully close to niche/camp territory. Again, fans may cheer at seeing such triumphs on a small scale, but would the same be met with the similar fervor over the course of a movie, or TV show?

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a live action run of Uncharted in videos similar to this one. Webisodes seem a good fit – let hilarity and treasure hunting ensue in short bursts; a little wordplay and a little gunplay and a good fight scene or two, snippets of historical data, and a little adventuring in the wilds of some far-off place. I’d also be keen on an actual Uncharted movie, or TV show, though I know I’d be far too critical of every last little detail for my own good. Because, y’know, with something like this, if it’s gotta be done, it’s gotta be done right. Right?

Are you onboard with an Uncharted movie? What would you hope to see, or not, in a feature-length film based on the video game series? What would your own “Uncharted: The Movie” cast look like?

(Article Source: A. V. Club)

Lede image by Flickr user Ferino Design (CC BY 2.0)


  1. renxkyoko says:

    I don’t think so. They don’t have to make a live action. The graphics of the video game is realistic enough. In fact, it’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Ah, good point! The cutscenes from the games alone area easily better than a lot of live action stuff people like to throw money at. An Uncharted movie has been talked about for a long time, so it’ll be interesting to see if this video actually jumpstarts anything…or nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. simpleek says:

    I agree with everything you said! I haven’t played an Uncharted game, but I’m familiar enough with the key characters in the series. When I saw the short movie, I thought Nathan Fillion proved he would be a good Drake. However, I kinda feel like if this movie were to become a reality it might fail as many video game movies often do so far. Or at least it doesn’t live up to the expectations fans have for beloved games. But I do think a short web series would work better. We would get live action Nathan without a series based on a video game over staying its welcome. A win-win really! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Yeah, that whole “living up to expectations” thing is such a difficult obstacle to overcome, especially when it comes to video game movies. Even I said, although I think I’d enjoy an Uncharted movies I’d probably be to critical of it. But I do very much like the idea of an Uncharted series, whether in web form or TV. Like you said, it could certainly be an all-around win!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. eremenko says:

    I can’t get enough of this short I’ve watched it three times now and it gets better each time. I wasn’t too impressed with the portrayal of Elena though, where Fillion and Lang clearly knew the character they were playing I felt like Monroe seemed to be a mite too generic and didn’t have the charm/wit of the Elena from the games. That being said it could just be because she had only the briefest of moments in the short to impress her skills upon us.
    Game adaptations rarely scratch the same itch as playing the game but it seems the brains behind this short understand that gamers want to see nods to their favourite medium when it is portrayed on the big screen, those behind official big screen adaptations would do well to take some nods from the style and direction of Ungars work here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      I was super disappointed that Elena was just “there.” (Also that Chloe only got a passing mention.) But I get Drake and Sully are the two big draws of Uncharted. If something were to come of this, I’d hope that everyone involved would get their proper dues.

      You’re right that Ungar put together this short with fans in mind. I’ve watched it…too many times now, but it’s got so many enjoyable moments that it’s easy to watch over and over. You’d hope that whoever took the reins of an actual Uncharted movie would take cues from this, but even the best intentions sometime fall flat with fans. But even if we only ever have this short, it’s better than absolutely nothing. Err, well…other than the games, that is. 🙂


  4. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    Talk of a live-action Uncharted movie has been around since practically the first game. But now that we’ve gotten a taste, thanks to a short by Allan Unger, featuring Nathan Fillion, are we ready? Are we all really for an Uncharted movie? (See my own response here on Virtual Bastion.)


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