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SYFY WIRE Uncharted

Uncharted: Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg remain; Sony eyes new director & release date

By Benjamin Bullard

Nathan Drake really is entering Uncharted territory on the big screen, according to a flurry of new reports that indicate yet another director change — and a likely push in the long-brewing movie’s release date.

Only three months after first signing him to helm the upcoming live action movie based on Naughty Dog’s hugely successful PlayStation video game series, Sony Pictures reportedly is taking short-lived Uncharted director Travis Knight (Bumblebee) off the project and potentially resetting the movie’s release calendar as it goes on the hunt for a replacement.

Deadline reports that Knight’s directing exit is a casualty of the scheduling demands of Uncharted’s hugely famous lead actor: Tom Holland, whom Sony Pictures already is deeply invested in accommodating as one of its biggest studio stars as Spider-Man. Holland’s web-slinging obligations sound like the higher priority, according to the report, which says Holland’s Spidey schedule is “crunching Uncharted’s timeline.”

Fortunately, though, the studio still appears to be fully committed to making its first Uncharted movie, and to keeping on board both Holland and Mark Wahlberg, who officially signed on last month to play Nathan Drake’s treasure-hunting mentor and friend, Victor “Sully” Sullivan.

The directing churn on Uncharted has been turbulent since buzz about a big-screen adaptation of Nathan Drake’s supernaturally-infused archaeological exploits began stirring all the way back in 2008. Knight’s exit is just the latest in a revolving door that’s seen other big names attached over the years, including Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy and 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg

In its current incarnation, Uncharted’s screenplay is being written by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Rafe Judkins and Iron Man duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. At last check, Uncharted was expected to release on Dec. 18 of 2020, though THR reports that Holland’s partially-overlapping commitment to the next Spider-Man movie, due out on July 16 of 2021, is likely to push Uncharted’s arrival even farther into the future.

If the Uncharted movie ends up missing its late-2020 target, we’ll just look on the bright side: at least it gives us that much longer to go back and replay the original Uncharted series for PlayStation 3 (the first three games, also released on PS4) and PlayStation 4 (Uncharted 4: A Thief's End).