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What does the older, video game version of Nathan Drake think about Tom Holland taking the reins as a younger incarnation of the treasure-hunting character he made famous? For Nolan North, the versatile actor who’s voiced Drake in all of Sony’s Uncharted video games, the upcoming Uncharted movie totally captures the swashbuckling spirit that made the original PlayStation adventures so great.
“I can’t wait to see this film,” North confessed to a panel audience at Emerald City Comic Con on Saturday, adding that he’s had plenty of behind-the-scenes access to the movie’s production. “I got to meet Tom Holland; he’s a huge fan," he teased. "I met Ruben Fleischer, the director, as well. He’s a fan, and…I think they did a brilliant move by [approaching it] like, ‘Let’s find Nathan Drake in his 20s.’ Because none of the games ever address that.”
North was super-secretive about whether longtime fans can expect to see (or hear) him in a cameo role when Uncharted arrives in theaters early next year. But Fleischer has definitely tapped the fun side of dangerous treasure-diving on a globetrotting scale, he said, taking a lighthearted page from Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones playbook. “That little bit of humor in a film like that is so important,” North said. “…I think he nailed the tone, from what I’ve seen.”
North’s lengthy career has made him a familiar voice to fans of video games covering just about every genre, from Hades in the original God of War to Penguin in the Batman: Arkham series to bad guy David in The Last of Us. An especially big challenge, though, was slipping into Iron Man’s suit for last year’s Marvel’s Avengers — a Square Enix title that arrived in the wake of Tony Stark’s dramatic big-screen departure in Avengers: Endgame.
How do you follow up an iconic MCU performance by Robert Downey Jr. by reprising it in video game form? Well, you just...don’t, North joked. When developer Crystal Dynamics first recruited him to join the Avengers voice cast, “I said, ’I love Iron Man; I can’t wait to play Iron Man — but I’m not gonna do a Robert Downey Jr. impression, because that’s just setting myself up for failure," North explained. "Because he nailed it.”
“…Robert Downey Jr. is my Iron Man, he will always be my Iron Man,” North added. “He’s my favorite Marvel character… To step into that, it’s like the [Uncharted] movie: You’ve gotta give the Uncharted movie a chance, knowing that this is a different genre and we’re going to try something — a different look. But, it’ll be fun…so accept it that way for what it is.”
Whether we get a North cameo this time around or have to wait for a sequel (“Let’s make it a hit so we can have a second one!” he rallied the ECCC crowd), the long, winding path to Uncharted’s big-screen debut is nearly over. Catch Holland in Sony’s Nathan Drake origin story (alongside Mark Wahlberg as Sully) when Uncharted arrives in theaters on Feb. 18, 2022.