Mark Wahlberg has been with the “Uncharted” movie for a very long time, but not always in the same role.
Based on the popular video game series by publisher Naughty Dog for PlayStation, “Uncharted” follows a pair of intrepid explorers – Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), a plucky young adventurer just starting out, and Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) a seasoned, some would say disaffected, pro. Together they search for legendary missing gold, running afoul of less scrupulous treasure hunters led by a villainous Antonio Banderas (chewing every piece of scenery in sight).
Originally, Wahlberg was attached to play Nathan Drake in the film, first for director David O. Russell and then for a number of other directors who came and went from the project. “It’s one of those things where we thought it would make for a cool movie — there are not lots of video games that are really perfect to be adapted to the big screen,” Wahlberg told TheWrap during the press day for the film. “This is definitely one of them, it’s so cinematic, great storytelling, huge adventure, action, all that stuff and we obviously infuse quite a bit of humor in the film.”
The actor explained why he stuck around for so long, and his reaction when Sony came back to him to play the mentor role instead of the lead. “I was onboard with David O. [Russell] and then we kind of moved on to another filmmaker and then another filmmaker and then I was just kind of like, it was all in limbo,” Wahlberg said. “So I was ready if they needed me, and then when I finally got the call they were like, ‘We’re ready to go,’ and I was like, ‘Cool, who’s the other guy?’ I thought are we gonna get Jack [Nicholson]? Tommy Lee Jones? And then all of a sudden they’re like, Tom Holland and I’m like, ‘For what?’ And they said, ‘For Nathan, you’re gonna be Sully,’ and I said, ‘What?’”
But after thinking about it for a beat — and especially when he saw the physicality the role of Nathan would involve — Wahlberg was onboard with the change. “Then I said, ‘You know what, actually it makes sense,’ and I read the script and I thought, ‘Wow he’s gotta go through absolute torture and hell physically and I get to stay in the helicopter in my tuxedo barking orders and telling him what to do.’”
Check out our interviews with Wahlberg and Holland in the video player above. “Uncharted” is now playing exclusively in theaters.