Naughty Dog/Getty Images/Sony Pictures
You’ve gotta hand it to Sony Pictures and Tom Rothman. For years, the studio has struggled to get it together regarding its UNCHARTED movie, which I always thought of as an Indiana Jones knock-off — though I’ll admit that I’ve never played the video game. I’ve heard the names of so many 30 to 40-year-old leading men during my time in the trenches, that I just figured the project would languish in Development Hell. So imagine my pleasant surprise when the news broke that young Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, has been cast as Nathan Drake.
I mean, why go the Indiana Jones route when you can beat that franchise at its own game? After all, Disney will inevitably have to cast a younger lead after the next Indy movie in 2020 that is expected to serve as Harrison Ford’s last crusade. Disney probably won’t go quite as young as Holland, which also helps Sony distinguish its franchise from that more famous one.
The move shows huge faith in Spider-Man: Homecoming and its enormously likable star, who now has the responsibility of shouldering two Sony franchises at the tender age of just 21 (his goodbye-fake-ID birthday is June 1). Not only is the studio sticking with Holland at the perfect time, but it’ll be working with Shawn Levy at the peak of his powers, coming off a sterling 2016 campaign that included the hit Netflix series Stranger Things and Best Picture nominee Arrival.
Uncharted, of course, is based on the Naughty Dog video game that lit up millions of PlayStations. The film will serve as a prequel that follows famous treasure hunter Nathan Drake as a young thief who crosses paths with a professional rogue named Sullivan.
Joe Carnahan, David Guggenheim and Eric Warren Singer wrote previous drafts of the script, but Sony plans to hire a new scribe to recalibrate the project as an origin story. Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing with Avi Arad and Ari Arad.
Holland broke out in The Impossible before being cast as Spider-Man, who first appeared in Captain America: Civil War. He’ll return to the MCU in Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel. This Christmas, Holland will be seen alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in The Current War, which could be a hot awards title. He’s represented by WME and Curtis Brown.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7 and is tracking to open much bigger than the last Spidey reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man. Of course, the new movie was made by Marvel, which seems to make all the difference these days.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief