Nathan Fillion really did get to play video game character Nathan Drake — just not in the upcoming “Uncharted” feature film.
Fillion spent last week teasing fans on Instagram and Twitter with clues related to the popular “Uncharted” video game series, touching off some speculation that he might be taking part in the live-action adaptation game developer Naughty Dog has been working on for some time.
As it happens, the project Fillion was teasing wasn’t the “Uncharted” movie. He was teasing an 15-minute fan film that was posted on YouTube, directed by Allan Ungar, in which Fillion plays the treasure hunter Drake — something a segment of “Uncharted” and “Firefly” fans on the Internet have stumped for repeatedly for years.
You can watch the movie above.
— Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) July 16, 2018
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Uncharted” games, they follow Drake and a few of his longtime friends — cigar-chomping mentor Sully and love interest-turned-wife Elena, usually — as he travels the world searching for lost treasures. Drake is something of an Indiana Jones-like figure, bringing a bunch of historical knowledge to an action game where he spends most of his time trying to beat a host of bad guys to whatever riches he’s after.
There is a feature version of an “Uncharted” adaptation in the works, but it’s been in development for quite a while. Right now has “Spider-Man Homecoming” actor Tom Holland attached to play a younger version of Drake than appears in the games, with “Stranger Things” producer and “Night at the Museum” director Shawn Levy on board to direct. The project has gone through a couple iterations — in a past version, Mark Wahlberg was originally going to play Drake, with David O. Russell directing.
Ungar’s fan film pretty perfectly captures the feel of the game series, which has always carried the feel of a big-budget summer blockbuster movie. Fillion is a good fit for the role of the wise-cracking and amiable Drake; Stephen Lang (“Avatar,” “Don’t Breathe”) takes on the role of Sully in the fan film, and Mircea Monroe (“Episodes”) plays Elena. The script is dead-on “Uncharted,” cutting from Nate firing of a bunch of jokes to a quick history lesson about 16th century conqueror Afonso de Albuquerque and explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
There’s even a section in the fan film that pays homage to the look and feel of the games, with the camera shooting over Fillion’s shoulder as he engages in a gun fight with a group of criminal bad guys, which is the way players controlling Drake view the action. The fight ends with Fillion executing one of Nate’s signature movies — jumping and then coming down on an enemy with a massive mid-air punch.
If the fan film is any indication, it seems fair to say that Fillion would make a strong addition to the upcoming “Uncharted” adaptation, should it need an older Nate to go along with Holland’s young one.