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Uncharted: The Movie Is a Retcon of the Video Game

The Uncharted movie is bringing the hit video game franchise to the big screen for the first time, but the first trailer for the film reveals some significant modifications. The film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, stars Tom Holland as Nathan Drake, Mark Wahlberg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, and Sophia Taylor Ali as Chloe Frazer, as well as Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas in supporting roles. Uncharted is set to arrive in theatres on February 18, 2022.

 Movie / Game

Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to adapting video games. Unfortunately, the new Uncharted trailer suggests that the film may struggle to strike that balance. There are very blatant retcons throughout, both in terms of character representations and the franchise’s overall timeline. Here are the most significant retcons in the film.

Changes in the Uncharted Film Nate and Sully’s First Meeting.

Uncharted
Sully Nathan Drake Swords

Nate is working as a bartender in a posh New York City lounge as the Uncharted trailer begins. Sully is present when he meets him. Holland’s Drake appears to be around 20 years old at this point in the novel, if not a bit older. This modification not only changes how old Nate and Sully are when they meet and how their relationship begins, but it also effectively erases all of Uncharted 3’s events, which revolve around the robbery that brings the two treasure hunters together in the first place. This implies that the Uncharted film belongs to a distinct canon than the games.

Changes in the Film Sam Drake’s Disappearance.

Uncharted
Nate and Sam Drake Uncharted 4

The Uncharted teaser does not show Nathan Drake’s brother Sam, but he is mentioned multiple times. According to a remark from Sully in the teaser, the treasure of Ferdinand Magellan that Nate and Sully are looking for is also linked to Sam’s disappearance. No actor has been named to play Sam Drake in the Uncharted film as of yet, but it’s likely that he’ll appear in a cameo near the conclusion. In any case, this version of Sam’s storey differs significantly from the Uncharted video games.

Sully’s Changes As A Result Of The Film

Uncharted
Mark Wahlberg as Sully and Game Sully

While not quite a retcon, the Uncharted trailer indicates some significant alterations to Victor Sullivan’s persona. Sully is a grumpy, cigar-chomping, cuss-word-slinging Paul Newman type with a bushy moustache and a proclivity for whining in the games. He has a strong and distinct personality that infuses the Uncharted universe with a lot of exciting energy. Unfortunately, the Uncharted movie’s Sully lacks many of those distinguishing characteristics. Sully, played by Wahlberg, lacks a moustache. He doesn’t have a cigar. He speaks in hushed tones and has few distinguishing quirks or personality characteristics. In every aspect, he appears unremarkable.

Changes in the Movie Nathan Drake is a fictional character.

Uncharted
Characters – Drake & Chloe

In addition to the character’s age, Sony has made significant modifications to Nathan Drake in Holland’s Uncharted prequel. Nate is younger than spectators might assume due to the film’s earlier placement in the broader Uncharted storyline, but it doesn’t explain the other ways in which the character has been transformed in his journey to the big screen. He’s less snarky, cocky, and innocent, and resembles Tom Holland’s naive MCU Spider-Man more than Nathan Drake from the video games in many ways.

Overall, it appears that the film is modifying Nathan Drake to fit his actor rather than the other way around. Although it may appear to be a minor modification, because Uncharted is already a very derivative plot based on known properties like Indiana Jones, deleting the backstories and features that distinguish its primary characters appears to be a major oversight.

Written by Prachee Mishra