A 14-minute Uncharted fan-film featuring Nathan Fillion from Serenity and Stephen Lang from Avatar recently made its way online, giving fans of the popular video game series a short tease about what could have been and what could be if Hollywood had decided to make a proper movie based on Naughty Dog’s popular third-person action-adventure series.
It’s crazy but in some sequences Fillion actually looks just like Nathan Drake from Uncharted 4. He also seems to put in the work and effort to imitate Nolan North’s depiction of the beloved hero.
Stephen Lang also chums it up as Sully, giving Nate some much needed backup when things get tough.
Write and director Allan Ungar along with Jesse Wheeler really seem to know how to capture the essence of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, mixing in rough-and-tumble fight scenes with shootouts and a short getaway. It’s rather action-packed for just 14 minutes. You can check it out below.
The story is wholly original, picking up where Nate is captured by some sort of Mexican kingpin who wants him to hand over a special relic. Nate, however, manages to escape and make his way to the second floor where he sifts through some files, finds some clues and makes a rather daring escape with a pistol in hand and a lot of luck at his back.
It’s a much better depiction of the Uncharted franchise than the dolor hodge-podge of a mess that was Uncharted 4. You can tell that Ungar really respected the kind of tone that Amy Hennig brought to the original trilogy when she was at Naughty Dog before getting kicked out. Hennig managed to mix comic timing with adventure thrills without ever dragging down the pace, and this was something that Ungar seemed to capture almost perfectly within the 14 minute run time.
It’s violent enough to keep you engaged, but lighthearted enough to ensure you don’t come away scarred and jilted.
Also, unlike Uncharted 4, the fight scenes in the short film actually made sense and were actually entertaining instead of being nonsensical and frustrating.
The fan-film also avoids following in Druckmann’s footsteps, where he tried to strip away the charismatic charm that Nolan North brought to the role; instead Ungar and Fillion actually dive headfirst into the character so that you actually care about and root for Nate.
It’s obviously Ungar’s proof of concept bid in hopes of getting Hollywood to take notice. Could it work? Absolutely. Is Ungar the right mind for the job? Looks like it. Is Fillion the right guy for Drake? I’ve got no qualms.
The issue, obviously, is that Hollywood and Naughty Dog are probably not too keen on a fan-film that actually gives fans what they want. Naughty Dog has an agenda to push and it doesn’t include making fans happy, or in the words of Neil Druckmann, “having fun”.
Fillion seemed to really enjoy taking over the role from Nolan North, and he seemed to put a lot of heart into this little indie project.
With a bigger budget and a full-length feature, this could easily be a great popcorn-night date flick, family flick, or all around good-time film. It’s a shame that we’ll likely never see it come to fruition.