Though we know as much now as we did two years ago when it was first reported that Tom Holland was attached to star Nathan Drake in an Uncharted film, it’s still fun to speculate about it.
Back then it was suggested that the script was being reworked to focus on a much younger Nathan Drake, probably wedged in the canon somewhere between his rowdy days at The Saint Francis Boys’ Home and when he first meets Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Of course, in the official canon, Nate was in his mid-teens when he met Sully and we’re not sure Tom, as boyish as he is, can pull off quite that young.
Though it’s been suggested the Uncharted film will act as a prequel to the mainline games, it hasn’t been confirmed beyond Nate and Sully as to who’ll appear in the game. It’s entirely possible they’ll tinker with the canon to make Nate a little older during his introduction to Sully and, in doing so, effectively rework the game’s lore to bring characters like Elena into the fold earlier. For a game that so greatly relied on its relationships, for them to miss out on Nate and Elena’s relationship goals would be a huge shame.
So, we’re going to assume for the sake of pure, unadulterated speculation that Sony Pictures is going to play fast and loose with the established universe of Nathan Drake by adapting a number of the trilogy’s beloved and reviled characters. So let’s take to the casting couch, for want of a better term, and fill these parts.
Victor “Sully” Sullivan
The silver-tongued devil that is Victor Sullivan discarded his moral compass long ago to fill his pockets with an endless supply of cigars and his penchant for adventure is matched only by Nate’s. Though it’s fortune he seeks more so than treasure, he’s been one of Drake’s most loyal advisors since they met.
Given the film is set to focus on this monumental meeting of the minds, it’s imperative this particular conman is cast to perfection.
According to the game’s lore, Sully was already at the ripe old age of 40 when he first met Nate. Let’s assume they might scale that up to match Holland’s age and we’re looking at a Victor Sullivan middling his forties. That being said, given we’re in a golden age of cinema where anything is possible, I’m not going to be using age as a strict guide.
There’s already a rumoured shortlist for the role of Sully which seems to suggest they’re going much younger than the established canon. On that list is Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Now, I don’t like that list one bit so let’s go a few better.
We know Cranston can rock a moustache and he certainly has the comedic timing to pull off Sully’s rapier wit based on what we’ve seen of him in Malcolm in the Middle and Seinfeld.
I’d argue he’s capable of playing much younger than his real age of 63 and he has a gravitas to carry the role and compliment Tom Holland wonderfully. Plus, having Heisenberg and Spider-Man attached to your film is bound to go a long way to draw in an audience that perhaps hasn’t played the games.
This one is a bit of a left-field choice but it’s one that this particular author is passionate about. Granted, uncle Sam might be knocking on the door of 75 but he’s not looking at life in the rearview mirror despite having nearly one hundred credits to his name. He’s recently been nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born.
While Cranston can do a cookie-duster, Sam Elliott has the entire Sully look down with enough world-weary grit to bring the role to life.
If you’re concerned old man Sam can’t hold his own, I recommend you check out a little film called The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, in which Elliott pretty much does everything the title promises.
Robert Downey Jr.
I won’t lie, I kind of just want to get the dream team back together because there’s no duo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that had chemistry quite like Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. during their all-too-brief faux-father and son relationship. Robert is the youngest of these three bucks so he’d best fit with the likely plan for the Uncharted film.
Spoiler alert, it’s no secret that Robert Downey Jr. has a bit more free time on his hands now that Tony Stark is no longer, but it’s also unlikely that he’d be too keen to hop straight back into another franchise that’d see him attached for multiple films.
But dreams are free, aren’t they?
It’s common knowledge that Elena and Nate first met during the opening stanza of Drake’s Fortune, so the writers would have to take liberties with the canon to make these two come together before that. It’s even possible she might appear in a post-credits stinger that sees Drake agree to feature on her cable archaeology program, or perhaps she won’t even feature at all.
We’re going to cross our fingers that she does feature because her sarcastic back and forths with Nate fast become the bedrock on which their relationship blossoms. But not only that, she’s a total badass and we’re blessed that Amy Hennig wrote her as she did.
So, in line with Holland’s early twenties age, here are a few actresses that might be right for the part.
Chloe Grace Moretz
File Chloe Grace Moretz under “actresses I assumed would be much older”.
Perhaps it’s the fact that she dropped a c-bomb in Kick-Ass but I also didn’t realise she was twelve years old when she did that and that the film is now almost ten years old itself. Though Elena doesn’t have the potty mouth Chloe clearly does, it’s clear she doesn’t shy away from physical roles and has the chops to bring Elena to life in a big way.
This one is thanks to Matt Tilby who alerted me to the fact that Saoirse Ronan would be a rather ideal casting for Elena. She’s certainly got a likeness, she’s incredibly witty and she’s a seriously talented actress who, at the age of 25, already has an Academy Award under her belt for Ladybird.
Though there’s a number of wonderful actresses working today, I think Ronan would be the one that would best do Elena justice.
Between Game of Thrones fans petitioning for a complete reshoot of the final season and X-Men: Dark Pheonix being torn to shreds by critics, it’s fair to say Sophie Turner is about due a win.
She’s Tom Holland’s age, she’s clearly very beautiful and, as Sansa Stark, she made it look like everyone else was dabbling with Checkers while she was playing Chess. She executed manipulative and cerebral with terrifying ease. Those aren’t traits Elena is known for, but if you consider Sophie’s regular bubbly demeanour, it serves as proof of her acting chops.
It’s pretty safe to assume that if Uncharted is going to focus on a much younger Nathan Drake, including his time at the Saint Francis Boys’ Home, that his brother Samuel is going to feature. Though he’s a little reckless and often finds himself in great peril, Sam’s heart is always in the right place which helped make him one of Uncharted’s most loveable characters on the back of one terrific Troy Baker performance.
Sadly, Troy is probably a bit too old to transfer his skill set to the big screen and reprise the role, so here are a few Hollywood heartthrobs that could pass for Tom Holland’s big brother.
Though he’s actually younger, thanks to Tom Holland’s baby face, the Riverdale star could easily pass for the older Drake brother. I personally can’t speak for his ability in front of the camera, but he certainly looks the part and let’s be honest, the kids today sure love Riverdale.
Plus, Apa is from New Zealand which makes him probably as close as we’ll get to having ‘homegrown talent’ on the Uncharted film, which is worth rooting for don’t you think?
Perhaps it’s in the name, but I could actually imagine Drake Bell portraying Sam. Though I’m sure it’d be a casting decision that would birth countless petitions, making Robert Pattinson’s donning the cape and cowl look positively celebrated. And yet, despite that, I can see it.
Like KJ Apa, I can’t speak for Bell’s acting chops, I never did partake in Drake & Josh, though in the years since that particular series ended, he has got himself in remarkable shape and bears some resemblance to Sam from A Thief’s End. Slick the hair back and wedge a smoke into his beak, it’s crazy enough to work.
He bears no likeness to Sam Drake of the Uncharted games, though he does bear a resemblance to Tom Holland. He’s also a proven and talented actor, which I can’t really say about the previous two on this list.
After bursting onto the scene with Billy Elliot, Bell has never gone without work with a number of great roles. I regard his turn as Edgar in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer to be one of his finer performances and with Rocketman currently receiving rave reviews, Bell’s supporting turn as Bernie Taupin is likely to see his stock rise higher again in Tinseltown.
So what do you think about my shortlisted actors for the Uncharted film, set to release in December next year? Can these actors compliment Tom Holland and round out the cast or should I give up my aspirations of being a big-time operator casting director for the silver screen?