Can Uncharted buck the trend of underwhelming film adaptations?

...even Tom Holland is doubtful.

The Uncharted movie has been cursed since production began but it has finally finished filming. Can it buck the trend of underwhelming film adaptations?

Scheduled for release in July 2021, Ruben Fleischer’s Uncharted film promises to be a successful adaptation of the much-loved video game franchise. However, in years gone by, prior crossovers have failed to hit the heights.

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As such, the PlayStation exclusive’s fans are somewhat sceptical that the title starring Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland will be another disappointing experiment. So, let’s consider why the upcoming Uncharted movie may be different, looking into the exploration theme’s popularity in console and casino gaming. 

Holland States Uncharted is for Everyone

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Since hitting the shelves in 2007, the action-adventure series has won numerous awards. The first release, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, picked up IGN’s Game of the Year award, while Among Thieves, Drake’s Deception, and A Thief’s End also claimed various accolades.

Currently, the franchise features nine releases, although only four have been part of the main series.

Collectively, Uncharted surpassed 41.7 million sales, as of December 2019, according to IGN. Unlike prior crossovers, the Nathan Drake-focused development already boasts a sizable audience base, which bodes well for the 2021 film’s box office figures. 

Tom Holland unhappy with his role as Nathan Drake in Uncharted
Tom Holland as Nathan Drake.

Not only that, but Holland, who will play Drake in the movie, doesn’t believe that the title will only appeal to those who have played the series. By the 24-year-old’s own admission, the film tells the story of how Drake became a well-known explorer.

As such, it both connects with the video game franchise but also creates its own path as an independent entertainment production. Holland believes that the upcoming cinematic release provides a welcome introduction to the series’ characters, allowing the concept to pique the interests of non-gamers. 

Of course, there are no guarantees that Uncharted will buck the trend of underwhelming game-to-film crossovers, but it undoubtedly has the potential to surpass expectations.

Forbes, however, suggests that there could be one primary issue with the movie, and that relates to the fact that the game series somewhat takes inspiration from the Indiana Jones franchise. As such, the 2021 film may struggle to distinguish itself from past creations centred around exploration.

The Exploration Theme is Hitting New Heights 

Irrespective of pre-existing influences, the treasure-hunting genre is much-loved among the gaming community, meaning that a crossover appears worthwhile. Over the past decade, Uncharted’s open-world, story-driven approach has inspired numerous action-adventure titles.

In many ways, Just Cause 4 shares a lot of similarities with the PlayStation exclusive. From a character standpoint, Drake and Rico Rodriguez both adopt a light-hearted, humorous approach to the trials and tribulations of treasure hunting. Moreover, much like Tomb Raider, Just Cause 4 features hidden tombs, in which players can unlock new equipment and side quests. 

Aside from the above console titles, the treasure-hunting theme has also become a go-to category within the online casino industry. At Royal Panda, prospective players can play the Book of Dead slot, which features the highly-popular Rich Wilde.

In the game, the fictional protagonist seeks to uncover hidden treasure in Ancient Egyptian tombs. In terms of format, the Play ‘n Go development is a five-reel title that features ten paylines. In staying true to the theme, Book of Dead incorporates features from the mythical underworld, including Anubis and Osiris. 

Nothing is Stopping Uncharted Being a Success 

Based on the above, few can argue that Uncharted can’t buck the trend and successfully cross over into the film industry.

While, of course, the genre has long featured in cinema, the 2021 film can stand out from the crowd because of its gaming connection.

If Fleischer can somewhat separate the movie from the game series and bring something new to the table, Uncharted could unquestionably become a must-watch title upon release.

Uncharted starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg is expected to hit cinemas in February 2022.

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