Musings on ‘Uncharted’ movie casting news

I normally don’t make a special post on just one casting news, especially on a project I’m not even familiar about. But I was at a giant retail store yesterday and the video game Uncharted 2 was featured on one of those giant TVs and I actually stopped for five minutes to watch it. I’m not a gamer so suffice to say last night was the first time I saw this Indiana-Jones/Tomb Raider type of action adventure game. It’s amazing how realistic today’s games are, its environment/setting looks gritty and life-like and the characters are darn near as expressive as those of real actors.

Apparently I was oblivious at the various casting news about this movie a few days ago, as I said to my husband as we were watching the promo that Hollywood’s probably turning this into a movie real soon. It’s not until after I got home and Googled more about Uncharted that I realized Mark Wahlberg is the frontrunner to play the main character Nathan Drake!

The fictional protagonist Nathan Drake & the actors vying to play him

Heh, I don’t know about you but I definitely didn’t have Wahlberg in mind when I watched the character. Not even close. I imagined someone tall, lean, dark-haired, rugged-looking guy in the mid-late 30s who looks fantastic sporting scruff and dirt on his face. More on that in a bit. Then I also found out from this site that Nathan Fillion had wanted to nab the role, he even hinted about it via Twitter back in October. Man, I’d be happy if he indeed got the role. If you’ve seen Serenity or even just one episode of Firefly, you know he’s certainly got the physical resemblance and personality for the character. Plus, Nathan playing Nathan would’ve had a nice ring to it πŸ˜€ Oh well, Wahlberg’s obviously got more clout and the fact that David O’Russell’s going to helm the project might have something to do with it. He’s done at least 2 movies with O’Russell: Three Kings & the upcoming boxing flick The Fighter. But I’m not as interested to watch it now with him in it. No offense to Wahlberg, I generally like the guy and he’s a decent actor, I just don’t think he’s right for the role.

[Updated 7/7/11 – Apparently O’Russell is now out and Limitless director Neil Burger is now set to direct [per THR], so I’m hopeful Wahlberg might not be doing the role after all!]

For what it’s worth, the actor that did come to my mind right away was Richard Armitage, one of my favorite British actor who’s just been cast in The Hobbit and is now starring in Strike Back in UK’s Sky 1 Channel. He’s not American nor has he done much (if any) American roles so far, though I’m sure that’s not as big as an issue other than he’s not exactly a household name.

GB, Armitage and Trucco

I also came across a few posts online suggesting Gerry Butler in the role, which of course I totally can see. I personally would rather see him play Nathan Drake than Afterburn, the comic-based sci-fi saga he’s been rumored to take on. And just for the heck of it, I’d also like to throw another name into the mix: Michael Trucco from Battlestar Galactica who, interestingly enough, has had a few stint on Fillion’s ABC show Castle lately. He’s an even more obscure actor obviously, but if you’ve seen him as Sam Enders (Starbucks’ one-time husband) in Battlestar Galactica, you probably know why I think he’d be suitable for the role.

Well, those who play this video game or at least familiar with this project, what do you think about the casting decision? Who would you rather see portray Nathan Drake?

35 thoughts on “Musings on ‘Uncharted’ movie casting news

  1. yep, I written many times about the project throughout last year over at my place, and Nathan was always mentioned as everyone’s favourite, so I’m really not sure why he is not getting big film roles when he obviously fits many of them.
    Karl Urban would also be great in this role beside Butler.
    Wahlberg just made the whole project pointless to me.

    1. Hi Dez, I guess I’ve glossed over all the news because I hadn’t heard of the video game πŸ™‚ I’m puzzled by that myself why he didn’t get it as the guy has many fans and he’s obviously the right man for the job!

      Oh boy, I feel guilty now leaving Karl Urban out of my list. He was another actor I had in mind when I saw Nathan Drake, not sure why I left him out (his pic was still in one of the layers on my Photoshop file!) Oh well in any case, any of those guys would’ve been ten times better than Wahlberg!

    1. You know, I thought about him too as I was searching for Michael Trucco’s pics. But he’s barely six feet tall and I had imagined the character to be tall and lean. Oh man, all the more reason I think Wahlberg is so wrong for the role. I’d rather have Jamie instead of him if they’re going to go with a guy with an average height!

      1. ah, you won’t hear me complaining on anything about Jamie Bamber, sister. I like him just the way he is πŸ™‚ Just do the Google image search (the unsafe one) and you shall be convinced πŸ™‚

        1. Oh I’m not complaining… Jamie is fiiiine indeed. I do think height is quite important in certain roles, though camera angles can do amazing work as they can make even Tom Cruise look 6 feet tall! πŸ˜€ (No wonder he’s the star of Mission: Impossible franchise…he..he..)

  2. Ha! I actually voted for Nathan to get this role. He seemed to really want it and I love him. I know nothing about this game but anything with Nathan Fillion in it seems worth watching πŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah it’s even more painful to hear the fact that the actor himself wanted the role. I agree, I’d be totally interested in the movie with Fillion but now, not so much.

  3. Ted S.

    I’m was bit surprised that Wahlberg accept another video game role since Max Payne tanked a couple of years ago and the movie was pretty bad too. I don’t know anything about this game either, let’s see what O’Russell can do for his first action picture.

    I’m definitely want to see The Fighter, his last film I Heart Hucklebees was awful in my opinion.

    1. I was more surprised the studio went with him with that in mind, especially when seemingly everyone in the blogosphere wanted Fillion for the role. I heard Max Payne was horrible so I avoided that like a plague. Well isn’t Three Kings was an action film, not full-on action but not exactly a drama either.

      I’d watch The Fighter more for Bale but yeah, gotta be better than Huckabees. Did you see the crazy F-bomb laden fight between O’Russell and Lily Tomlin? More fascinating than the film itself πŸ™‚

      1. Ted S.

        I guess Three Kings was kind of an action movie but I never thought of it that way, I think it was more of an experiment on action/war picture. I mean at the time it came out, most people who saw it only talked about the bullets into the body sequences.

        Yeah I saw that clip, rumor has it that it was Clooney or someone from Clooney’s camp who leaked that video. O’Russell and Clooney didn’t get along at all while shooting Three Kings, in fact they got into a fist fight half way through filming. I was hoping to see that clip but I assume no one filmed it. Ha ha.

    1. Justin Timberlake??? I hope you’re kidding. No, I totally don’t see it. He’s a fairly decent actor and pretty adept at comedy, but I don’t think he’s action hero material.

    2. Why does everyone assume I’m kidding when I add Justin Timberlake into the discussion. Dude has no mad acting skills. It’s not like I’m suggesting someone like Daniel Day Lewis, what a joke of an actor that guy is!

        1. Oh so I’m not the only one who think that about Timberlake, glad to hear πŸ™‚ Well I do think the guy can act, it’s just I don’t see him in this role in particular. Much like I never bought Jake Gyllenhaal as an action hero in Prince of Persia. To be fair, I don’t think DDL would be right for Nathan Drake either πŸ™‚

  4. Mike

    I agree, Nathan Fillion would have been a better pick. Marky Mark might be able to pull it off. Just depends what angle they take on the story.

    Glad you’ve noticed the world of gaming. It’s crazy how immersive the experiences are. And the billions spent on gaming. It’s no wonder there’s so much back and forth between the two mediums …

    1. I think EVERYONE think Fillion would be great except the filmmakers, grrrrrr!

      Do you play this game, Mike? Well, I’m not into gaming because I’ve seen the terrible side of game addiction on a family member, that really puts me off. But I gotta admit video games these days are impressive. I think they’re probably going to make Assassins Creed into a movie, too, the level of realism on that one is outstanding!

  5. Justin Timberlake!? >_> The problem with alot of these video game adaptations is the leads never look like that actor. Wahlberg had his chance with Max Payne, and I think Nathan Fillion would’ve been an excellent casting choice.

    1. Ha..ha.. funny you have the same reaction as I did hearing Justin’s name (sorry Castor! :)) I think Wahlberg butchered Max Payne and he’s probably trying to ‘redeem’ himself in the world of video game adaptations. Heh, now the question is how many would be interested given that people would rather see Fillion in the role.

  6. Nathan Fillion all the way!!! Man, I LOVED Firefly and Serenity. I’m actually a little “Marky-Mark-ed” out. He’s been involved in so much lately. Much like Johnny Depp. Come on, Hollywood! Get some unused or new talent up in this piece! πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah, I’m ‘Marky-Mark-ed’ out too, just as I’m kinda tired of seeing Liam Neeson in virtually every movie coming out in recent memory. Oh man, I agree about using new talent… that’s why I suggest Richard Armitage, Hollywood ought to discover him. They’re kinda starting to (he’s cast in Capt. America as a villain) but he’d shine in a film like this.

      Btw, hubby just scored Firefly the complete series on Blu-ray for only 25 bucks! I think it was only a one-day deal but can’t beat that price!

  7. NO IDEA why Fillion is playing Drake. Pretty sure Drake was modeled after Fillion. Nothing against Wahlberg, but this is a total snafu. Will probably still see it though.

    1. Well according to Wiki, Naughty Dog based Drake’s appearance and personality on daredevil Johnny Knoxville, actor Harrison Ford, and the heroes of pulp magazines, novels, and films. But I can see Fillion playing Indiana Jones type of flick, and the character does look a lot like him. Nah, I think I’ll skip this one with Wahlberg involved.

  8. Dean

    Nathan Drake – Bradley Cooper/Chris Evans/Jensan Ackles/Joe Manganiello

    Sully – JK Simmons/Jeff Bridges/Powers Boothe

    Elena Fisher – Jessica Chastain/Rebecca Hall/Emily Rose

    Gabriel Roman – Jason Isaac/Anthony Head

    Atoq Navarro – Edgar Ramirez/Ramon Rodriguez

    Eddy Raja – Jesse Garcia/Carlo Alban

    Chloe – Lena Headey

    Flynn – Dominic Cooper

    Lazarevic – Til Schweiger

    Jeff – ??????

    Karl Shafer – Jonathan Pryce/

    Tenzin – ??????

    Charlie Cutter – Liam Cunningham/

    Marlow – Helen Mirren/Jane Seymour

    Talbot – Jack Davenport/Michael Sheen/

    Remeses – ???????

    Salim – ??????

    Young Drake – ??????

    1. Wow, Dean I take it you’re a big fan of the Uncharted? πŸ™‚ Nice suggestions, but I’m afraid I can’t agree w/ any of your choices for Drake. I like Evans but he’s just too pretty and he’s already playing Cap. America. I do like your female casting choices however, well just the first two, never heard of Emily Rose before.

      And seeing Helen Mirren’s face brings a smile to my face. I’d LOVE to see her starring on a movie based on a video game πŸ˜€

  9. Dean

    Huuuuuge fan! Trying to get hold of the comics if you have any suggestions?

    To be honest I will happily go on without a Uncharted movie. The games are pretty much movies anyway. First reason i replay the games is for story and how cinematic they are. second being the amazing set pieces.
    If they do a movie it would be awesome if it wasn’t an adaptation of the games. A new adventure so it’s fresh for the fans of the already established franchise. Maybe set each film in between each game but not refer to the games events too much for the newcomers sake. So for the fans it fills in the gaps and for newcomers its an entire new experience.
    Take the Indiana Jones approach even. Each film was really a stand alone. the fourth film was the only film audiences were required to see the original trilogy. first and third films anyway.

    I mainly put Chris Evans in for looks and the whole captain america deal would cause major scheduling problems haha.
    I think Ackles from supernatural could pull off the personality and he wouldn’t be pricey either.
    i really don’t agree with Nathan Fillion though as much as i love his work. Only because he is too old. same reason Nolan North isnt up there.
    Emily Rose is the actress who voices Elena in the games. She does live action work also.

    1. Well I don’t read comics so I can’t help you πŸ™‚

      I guess you’re right, a fresh new idea is always great, but as you know the creativity well has dried up in Hollywood so they’re always making movies based on books, games, etc. I think this one if done right and they cast the right people it could be good.

      Yeah I suppose Fillion is too old for this, but what about Richard Armitage that I suggested above? I think he’s the right age and he certainly could handle all the action stuff. He’s gonna be in The Hobbit this year as the leader of the dwarfs.

      1. Dean

        Indeed the Hollywood well has dried up.

        Armitage has the look but I have never seen him in anything so i couldnt comment. Can he pull off an american accent?

        1. Oh yeah I think he could, most Brits can do a better job with accents than Americans doing British accents. I take it you’ve seen Capt. America, he played the villain Heinz Kruger who killed Stanley Tucci’s character. He’s done mostly British TV stuff, such as this one called Strike Back:

          1. Dean

            Oh I know who he is now. I would be willing to see him give it a go. It does need to be a relatively unknown actor. keep the casting cheap and the rest of budget can go on the filmmaking process so if it becomes successful at the box office it makes more than double that it costs. then we have a franchise on our hands. a good videogame/movie franchise. the first good one.

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