Uncharted is one of the most engaging, exciting, and narratively satisfying video game franchises ever made. It scratches the itch of everyone who has ever wanted to be Indiana Jones. Now people grow up aspiring to be like Nathan Drake! And for years now, Sony has tried to get an Uncharted movie off the ground. We’ve known for a bit that Spider-Man star Tom Holland would play a young Nathan Drake in the movie, but that’s literally it. Now we know one more thing, according to Variety–Mark Wahlberg will also star in the movie.
In the report, Variety says that Wahlberg is in final talks to play Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Nate Drake’s friend and mentor in the artifact-stealing game. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. One is that Wahlberg was at one point attached to the Uncharted movie in the role of Drake himself. This is when it was to be directed by his Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees director, David O. Russell. Second, Sully, the cigar-chomping, smooth-talking con man, has never been a particularly jacked character. Not even in the flashbacks in Uncharted 3.
In the game franchise, Victor Sullivan is Nate Drake’s partner for most of his adventures. In the first game, Drake’s Fortune, Sully serves as Nate’s pilot; someone for him to talk to while traversing the jungle. They separate at various points in the story, but ultimately Nate must rescue Sully from the game’s main villain. Sully only plays a small role in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where he bails Nate out of jail near the beginning and accompanies him on a mission to blow up a bad guy’s base. Then he sits out the rest of the game until the final cut scene.
Sully’s big outing is 2011’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The game begins with Nate and Sully in the middle of a deal-gone-bad in their attempt to find Sir Francis Drake’s lost treasure. Large chunks of the playable game are devoted to a flashback in which teenage Nate meets Sully for the first time. Nate is trying to obtain Sir Francis Drake’s ring from a museum and Sully is part of a cadre of bad guys looking for it also. Sully ends up taking in Nathan which then plays in to the present day sections, where Sully’s past indiscretions threaten his paternal bond with Nate.
While there is a fourth game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which features Sully, that game is much more about Nate’s estranged older brother, Sam. It seems as though director Travis Knight’s movie will take the story of the third game as its basis; at least in terms of the Nate/Sully dynamic. I can’t imagine they’d cast Mark Wahlberg as Sully if the movie were going to focus on Nate and Sam.
We’ve definitely had our misgivings regarding this Uncharted movie; the fact that it’s been in development for so long doesn’t bode super well. But the fact that Sony has actually cast another actor, and one of Mark Wahlberg’s caliber, at least gives us hope the movie will happen at all!
Uncharted currently has a December 2020 release date. We’ll see!
Featured Image: Paramount