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12 August 2018

Games on Film: The Uncharted Short

By // Games

From the high-octane excitement of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One to the gritty action and adventure of Tomb Raider, it is safe to that 2018 has once again shown how the film world continues to look to the gaming industry for ideas and inspiration.

The two areas have obviously had a strong relationship for many years, with famous characters such as Lara Croft, Mario and even Hitman being adapted from hit games and given a second life in the cinema world – albeit with varying levels of success.

It is not a one-way thing either. A number of tie-in games based on movies have been released across the past couple of decades too, with titles based on James Bond being a particular hit. While gamers may be able to replicate the spy’s casino escapades by seeking out blackjack games to play online like American blackjack, a range of official Bond-related games have also given them a chance to put themselves head-first into several action-packed 007 adventures.

With new films related to Super Mario, Metal Gear Solid and Sonic the Hedgehog all thought to be in the pipeline, it is fair to say that the link between the big screen and gaming remains in rude health. Now, a new short has hinted that another popular video game character could well have an exciting cinematic future ahead.

Castle and Firefly actor Nathan Fillion has starred in a 15-minute film based on Uncharted, taking on the role of the gaming franchise’s much-loved adventurer Nathan Drake. Created with Allan Ungar, the film has gone down well with many fans, with The Verge even going so far as to say that it may be “film’s only good video game adaptation”.

After a relatively slow start – and a little bit of exposition which gets non-fans up to speed on the character – Fillion’s charisma is given time to shine and then all hell breaks loose with a well-choreographed bit of fighting. Following that, it is down to the business of a mystery related to lost treasure, with the short clip then wrapping up with Drake discovering where the next part of his adventure is set to take place.

The clip is undoubtedly impressive, but arguably even more so when one key fact is added to the mix – it is unofficial and fan-made. It is unknown if there are any further plans for Fillion to step into the role of Drake in a more official capacity, but the short certainly highlights the huge potential that the character could have in the movies.

That will undoubtedly be music to the ears of director Shawn Levy and Spider-Man Homecoming star Tom Holland, who are actually attached to an official Uncharted project which is expected to focus on Drake’s early years as an adventurer.

While films based on gaming franchises can be a fairly mixed bag, this short demonstrates that a combination of comedy, action and old-fashioned adventure may just mean Uncharted and Nathan Drake are a perfect fit for a leap to the big screen.

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