The video game movie genre has taken the long road to gaining respectability in Hollywood. While the video game business rivals the movie business in terms of sales numbers, studio executives have continually failed to translate the visceral excitement found in gaming to the big screen. However, with more popular game titles than ever to adapt, Hollywood is far from finished attempting to transform your favorite game into a blockbuster. While there’s a literal graveyard of failed adaptations, ranging from Super Mario Bros to Assassin’s Creed, few titles seem more ready for the leap to the big-screen than Naughty Dog’s Uncharted game franchise.
Sony Pictures is looking inward at their vast library of game titles and have been hard at work on a big-screen adaptation of their Uncharted series for years now. The movie currently has director Shawn Levy (Real Steel) at the helm, while the upcoming adaptation has reportedly taken inspiration from a sequence in the third game, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Where it will follow the adventures of a young Nathan Drake and how he befriends his future mentor and fellow treasure hunter, Sully. This approach was confirmed early in the summer with the casting of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Tom Holland as young Drake. However, since that revelation, things have been quiet over on the Sony lot. That silence peaked our interest, so we sent a little bird over to try and find out how pre-production was progressing for the video game adaptation.
Our source told us that Sony Pictures was eyeing none other than Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston for a large supporting role in the upcoming adaptation. Unfortunately, we couldn’t confirm with certainty what role that Cranston is up for, but it’s hard to imagine him as anyone other than the cantankerous, yet lovable, Sullivan. However, it’s presumably not out of the realm of possibility – but very hard to envision – that it could be for a villain role.
Cranston has the right look and sense of dry humor to bring the weather-beaten Sully to life. It’s also easy to imagine the chemistry and banter between him and Holland, based on the latter’s performance next to Robert Downey Jr. in Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, if they are faithfully sticking to the video game’s timeline the 61-year old Cranston seems to be the perfect age to play the character next to an adult Nathan Drake, not the younger incarnation. It would make sense to wrangle a cast that can grow with the franchise and with the youthful Holland over the next decade. While Sully is certainly portrayed as athletic for his age, it may be a tough sell to make Cranston believably climb mountains ten years from now. Regardless, what is most important is that the TV legend has the gravitas to bring Sully to three-dimensional life right now, that perhaps few other actors could.
The wheels are certainly turning behind the scenes at Sony. It will be interesting to see if this incarnation of Uncharted will manage to get off the ground, particularly with other adaptations such as Tomb Raider, hoping to be the future hit that legitimizes the video game genre. We will continue to keep our eyes on this one.