Sony's live-action movie adaptation of Uncharted, Naughty Dog's action-adventure franchise, has already provided fans with a lot to look forward to. Similar to any sort of adaptation from a beloved franchise with established characters and aesthetics that fans have become accustomed to, many are making comparisons to its video game source material. Uncharted's movie seems to be more-or-less a grab bag of ideas from various entries in the franchise, though it is clear that most of the movie's visual and narrative inspirations are drawn from Uncharted 3.
Uncharted 3 is a proper sequel, as much as it is a prologue narrative that depicts how a teenaged Nate met Sully on the streets of Cartagena, Colombia. It seems as though these younger, more inexperienced depictions of the characters are what the movie is depicting as well. Many comparisons and contrasts have been made between actors Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg and their respective characters, Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan, with a lot of arguments for why they may or may not be suited for their roles.
How Tom Holland's Nathan Drake Compares to Uncharted 3's Nathan Drake
Uncharted 3's adolescent Nathan Drake is quick-witted and knowledgable about cultural and historical events, as is gone into deeply with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End's prologue with Nate's brother, Sam. Even in his adolescence, Nate's freerunning and building-scaling in Uncharted is unmatched. Moreover, Holland has to effectively bridge the gap between fans' expectations of Nate as both a teenager and an adult, due to scenes that clash with respect to the games where Nate is already an adult.
Holland has demonstrated his gymnastic talents with the Marvel Cinematic Universe's blockbuster Spider-Man films and has performed many of his own acrobatic stunts as the wall-crawler. However, starkly opposite to his role as Peter Parker are his roles in movies like The Devil All the Time (2020) or Cherry (2021), where Holland has been able to show off his diverse acting talents.
Holland may not have been everyone's first choice for the role of a young Nate, but it is also not a casting choice that has been widely divisive. Uncharted's Nathan Drake is not necessarily a role that demands such acting skill. Rather, Holland's already well-established relationship with Sony, boyish looks, and ability to perform stylish stunts may be what won him the role. Mark Wahlberg, however, presents a wider contrast as an actor to his character, Victor Sullivan.
How Mark Wahlberg's Sully Compares to Uncharted 3's Sully
"Sully" is a naturally suave and sophisticated swindler in Uncharted, who is involved in fortune-hunting for his own reasons and vices, taking Nate under his wing when he sees potential in him as a fortune hunter and an opportunity to mentor him. While it is arguable that Wahlberg may or may not be able to adequately adopt Sully's personality and charm, the visual differences between Wahlberg and Sully is where most of fans' discontent comes from.
Early screenshots and trailers of Uncharted revealed to fans that Wahlberg's iteration of the character would not feature Sully's distinguished moustache. Wahlberg's Sully has now been seen with a pencil moustache that Holland's Nate teases him about in Uncharted's latest trailer. Although, it is unknown whether the Uncharted movie's inclusion of a moustache is simply a quick nod to his character that is meant to be laughed off, or a facial characteristic he will carry with him thereafter as a signifier of character development.
Wahlberg is known for maintaining a remarkably muscular physique throughout all of his acting roles, from Pain & Gain (2013) and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) to Spenser Confidential (2020). Sully has never been characteristic of such physical stature, and though that creates more of a dissonance from his original visual portrayal, it also creates an opportunity for the character. Uncharted's teasers and trailers have concentrated upon Holland's stunts, while Wahlberg has not been shown to have any stunts or action scenes as of yet.
Rather, Wahlberg's physicality could mean that he is likely able to contribute more to stunts and action sequences than the games' Sully could. Regardless, Holland and Wahlberg both cast contrasts and similarities to their characters from Naughty Dog's Uncharted franchise. It may be jarring at first to see these actors representing characters that are so beloved from Uncharted, but perhaps these actors can grow into their roles and age alongside their characters like they do in the games, if future installments are planned.
Uncharted is scheduled to release in theaters on February 18, 2022.
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