In the last few months, Sony has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Whether it's the hack of 2014 or their lacklustre box office performance in 2015 so far, they just can't seem to catch a break. That all changed a couple of days ago, however, when they announced their upcoming slate of releases - it was good! From sequels to old favourites such as Bad Boys 3 & 4, reboots of classics such as Jumanji and hot new book adoptions like The Dark Tower, Sony's announcement packed quite a punch. However, the upcoming project that excites me the most is none other than the film adaption for Uncharted.
For the unfamiliar, Uncharted is a PlayStation franchise that is currently among the very best in existence. The first three games were solid critical and commercial successes; Uncharted 4 due out next year is expected to be no different. The games revolve around the adventures of explorer Nathan Drake who shoots, jumps and solves puzzles on his way to glory. Why is this the film I am most excited to see? Lets take a look.
1) The Action Set Pieces
There are still a handful of successful franchises still in existence that don't involve superheroes. So far 2015 has been a good year for such franchises as Furious Seven, Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation and Mad Max: Fury Road all received warm receptions from critics and audiences alike. Uncharted has the potential to be such a franchise as its action set pieces are simply jaw dropping. In fact, one of the set pieces involving a plane in Uncharted 3 was the inspiration for Tom Cruise's plane stunt in Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation. The Uncharted franchise, just like many film franchises has constantly tried to top itself by elevating the action sequences through adding new weaponry as well as new set pieces involving cars, trains, planes, boats and what not. Taking down a helicopter with a machine gun whilst on top of a moving train currently canvassing the Himalayas - check. Jumping on to the wheel of a plane just as its about to take off from a moving jeep - CHECK. Parachuting of same plane after taking down henchmen and dropping into a desert...its all possible! And that's barely scratching the surface of what Uncharted has to offer.
2) The Characters
Another reason the Uncharted video-games have been as successful as they have is because of the characters. They aren't just bystanders to the jaw dropping spectacle but are active participants. More than just fictional characters, they're fully fleshed out three dimensional personalities that you really grow attached to as you play the game. With the right cast (I'm considering doing a fan casting article soon), these characters can be just as gravitating on the big screen. What makes it better is that it's the characters and their motivations that actually drive the story from point A to point B. Nathan Drake, the protagonist has genuine charm and great chemistry with romantic interest, Elena Fisher and his partner in crime Victor Sullivan. Since characters can prove so important to a franchise (heard of Ethan Hunt and Dominic Toretto?), a solid cast can result in the Uncharted film nailing this aspect of a good film.
3) The Story
As Uncharted 2 begins, Nathan Drake is shot, wounded and in a train that's hanging off the side of a cliff. The very first mission is to get the injured protagonist to climb through this falling locomotive and make it to safety. As he passes out on the snow after making his way up, the game cuts to flashback and you start playing through the journey of how he got there. As someone that's been playing Video-games for close to 14 years, rarely have I witnessed such a bold start to a video-game. It felt like a scene right out of a Hollywood action movie. All the Uncharted stories are filled with interesting characters, exotic locations, formidable villains and a healthy dose of twists and turns. They are globe trotting adventures that have the potential to come to life in thrilling manner on the big screen.
With every release, The Uncharted games have been described as the video-game equivalent to a summer blockbuster. Every new installation has pushed the boundaries of the gaming experience and it is a series that if managed correctly has the potential to be one of, if not THE best video-game to movie adaption ever made. It has a large and loyal fan base who will follow Nathan Drake and company all the way to the box office. If Sony hires the right people for the job and does the source material justice, they could have a true winner and franchise starter on their hands with this one. Personally cannot wait to see how it pans out!
Does an Uncharted movie excite you? Are there any other video-games that you believe will make great films? Any other films in Sony's line up that have you excited? Sound off in the comments below!