Uncharted: Why Nathan Fillion Wasn’t Cast as Nathan Drake

One of the biggest movies set to prepare in 2022 is Uncharted, adapted from the enormously successful video game franchise of the same name created by Amy Hennig through developer Naughty Dog and publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment. Like the games, the film follows the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake and his mentor/surrogate father figure Victor "Sully" Sullivan as they travel around the world to recover ancient relics long-lost to civilization. And while Tom Holland takes on the iconic role of Drake for the movie, fans of the games have been clamoring for Nathan Fillion to be cast in the role instead.

The reasoning behind the fan interest in Fillion being cast as Drake is fairly obvious. Even at a passing glance, Fillion physically resembles Drake and matches his sardonic attitude in many of his more popular acting roles. For his part, Fillion is a self-professed fan of the video game series and personally lobbied for the role of Drake in a planned cinematic adaptation for years. The actor even went as far as to star as Drake in a fan-made live-action short film adaptation of the franchise in 2018, matching the third-person perspective action set pieces and featuring an all-star cast. The short film would be the closest fans have ever seen of Fillion portraying Drake, with Holland's role being announced in May 2017.

RELATED: New Uncharted Trailer Reveals the Treasure Holland and Wahlberg Are Searching For

However, for the story the upcoming film is telling, a younger actor portraying Drake makes much more sense. The Uncharted movie is a prequel tale of sorts, with story beats and set pieces visibly drawing influence from flashback sequences in the 2011 video game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. These sequences were set approximately twenty years before the relative present of the games' timeline, showcasing the first meeting between Drake and Sully, with Sully taking on Drake as his protege in illicit treasure hunting. Judging by the Uncharted movie's trailers, the film will also include the origins of Drake's romance with Chloe Frazer, a woman who will continue to loom large in Drake's life years after their love affair has fizzled out.

While the Uncharted movie being a prequel to the main games' timeline leaves open the possibility of Fillion being cast as an older Drake for any potential sequels, this is still improbably going to be the case. Given the record-breaking success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Holland is one of the most visible, bankable movie stars in the world right now. And global prominence and marketability aside, the studio is likely looking for a younger actor to maintain the role of Drake, by all accounts a physically demanding one, for years to come. At 25, Holland may be better suited for the physicality and longevity needed for such a role, keeping in line with studio expectations.

RELATED: Uncharted's Tom Holland Worked at a Swanky Hotel Bar to Prepare for the Sony Film

For his part, Fillion has wished Holland and co-star Mark Wahlberg well, along with the overall production. The regret about the whole adaptation that Fillion has publicly expressed is the sheer amount of development time to bring an Uncharted movie to the big screen. And while Fillion may be involved in the film series in some way in the future, fans probably shouldn't get their hopes up that the actor will suit up as Nathan Drake on the big screen as Sony charts a cinematic future for its popular video game franchise with one of the most recognizable movie stars at the helm.

To see Tom Hollan portray Nathan Drake, Uncharted opens in theaters Feb. 18.

KEEP READING: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection Reveals New Details, Free Ticket Offer

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Sam Stone (8415 Articles Published)

Sam Stone is a 10th level pop culture guru living just outside of Washington, DC who knows an unreasonable amount about The Beatles. You can follow him on Twitter @samstoneshow and ask him about Nintendo, pop punk, and Star Trek.

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