Could Nathan Fillion Replace Mark Wahlberg in ‘Uncharted’?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 12:45 am,

It’s not an exaggeration to say that fans of the PlayStation 3 video game franchise Uncharted have continued to express their concern for director David O. Russell’s re-imagined take on their beloved treasure hunter, Nathan Drake.

Back in November, Mark Wahlberg confirmed that he would be stepping into Drake’s shoes but, considering the Uncharted film is barely a gleam in Russell’s eye at this point, is it possible that we could see a different actor step into the role? Maybe even fan-favorite Nathan Fillion?

Recently, YouTube user gregblessing27, caught up with Russell after a screening for the director’s critically acclaimed true-life-boxer-story The Fighter - confronting the director about the choice of Mark Wahlberg and championing the benefits of recasting Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) in the part – ie. “He acts exactly like that dude (Nathan Drake). He has all these little subtleties.”

While some outlets have poked fun at the awkward exchange, especially given Russell’s history of flaring tempers, there’s one moment in the video that, in our opinion could carry some weight – look for it at the 0:18 mark:

Certainly “gregblessing27″ isn’t the most reliable source of information (as Screen Rant reader “Capthca” points out – several of the “subtitles” in the video are inaccurate) but what’s intriguing here is Russell and Co.’s reaction to the mention of Fillion. While it’s hard to imagine that Russell hasn’t even heard of Nathan Fillion, especially given the growing rancor among fans of the series, it’s certainly interesting to hear that someone close to Russell (who gregblessing27 claims is Russell’s agent) has “sent” FireFly DVDs (which the video mistakenly claims are “audition DVDs”) to the director. Whether that “sent” means “sent and already thrown in the trash” or “sent and waiting to be watched” is certainly up for debate.

The rest of the footage shows that Russell isn’t exactly enthusiastic about Nathan Fillion, “You know, if they want to put someone in there that’s not a big deal… I hear you.” But he does end the conversation, “Point taken.” It may not be much, and certainly Russell was rushing to get out of there but it’s certainly possible that, facing enough fan-opposition, the studio, director, or Walhberg himself, may rethink the casting decision.

Video game adaptations are certainly a tricky business – even for Hollywood. The films have to strike a balance between getting fans of the franchise energized enough to spread the word to unfamiliar moviegoers – while still carrying enough Hollywood heft (ie Mark Wahlberg) to allow the movie to stand apart from the game.

For a lot of fans, the problem with Russell’s film, at this point, is both the lead actor and the story are rather large departures from the source material – so, aside from the name, what’s to get excited about?

Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception Could Nathan Fillion Replace Mark Wahlberg in Uncharted?

However, with the recent announcement of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, as well as the reveal that the game will include a “mysterious deception about Drake’s very identity” and focus on Drake’s partner-in-crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan – it’s worth speculating how much unrevealed information David O. Russell might know about the direction of the franchise.

Consider the quote from Wahlberg regarding David O. Russell’s vision of the Uncharted world:

“I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of ['Uncharted'] is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It’s not going to be the watered-down version, that’s for sure.”

The Uncharted movie does not have a release date and is very much in the early stages of production so, without question, we’ll probably see a lot of changes. Given the momentum Sony has going with the Uncharted franchise, the game publisher/movie production house cannot afford to see Nathan Drake turned into Max Payne, especially considering the next video game installment, Max Payne 3, has been repeatedly delayed, whereas Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is already one of the most highly anticipated titles of 2011.

Will the growing rancor around the casting of Mark Wahlberg be enough to cause David O. Russell to consider recasting the part – and give Fillion a real Uncharted audition DVD? Time will certainly tell.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know what you think.

Source: Kotaku

TAGS: Uncharted
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  1. plase god lt this cast change happen marky mark is just not right no matter how good imagination a person has

  2. Nathan Fillion is perfect. He should be the next Indiana Jones but this is close enough. I DO hope he gets the part!!!

    • No one should be the next Indy, not even Nathan.

      • agreed

  3. Fillion was born to play Drake!!!

  4. Nathan Fillion is way better than Mark Whelberg!!!…. Plus Whelberg doesnt even look like drake!!!…. why will he not listen!!!

    • Wahlberg buddy, Wahlberg

  5. ABMM!

    (Anybody But Marky Mark)

  6. i don’t care about the casting i just don’t want this movie to be made,u seen what they are gonna do with uncharted?you heard how they are gonna change the whole storyline and screw around with it???
    let mark stay in this piece of crap project,i wouldnt want to see fillion suffer in this waste of a movie

    • I kind of agree. I’d love to see Fillion take on the Drake role, but right now Russell looks like he’s destroying the character anyway, so I’d rather Fillion stay clear of a crap film.

      Uncharted has the potential to be the first legitimately good Video Game movie, but I swear, the only way we’re ever gonna get a good adaptation is if the studio hires someone who actually LIKES the source material. That’s why Peter Jackson’s Rings movies and Chris Nolan’s Bats movies work, despite all the changes to the source material. They’d READ the books. They were FANS.

      Russell has clearly NEVER played the game, and I sure as hell doubt he’s ever going to. He wants to make his Father-Son adventure film, and he’s going to use the Uncharted brand to get people to see it.

      • i’ve gotta agree, as much as i love Fillion, if the movie is gonna be garbage then let Marky Mark be in it, even if Fillion is the better choice for the character

  7. Please all deities let this change happen, Mal Reynolds/Caleb/Castle and then Nathan Drake now that would be a career to celebrate

  8. Please be true. I remember playing both games and thinking if: it they made a movie out of this (wich it feels like!) Fillion would so have to play this role.

    I know I’m not the only one.

  9. For the last time, that is NOT David’s agent and she did NOT say he sent an audition tape, she said she gave him FIREFLY dvds. Please stop misreporting this rumor.

    • @ Capthca

      You’re right on the details for sure and I’ve updated the article accordingly. Though, when I first saw the video, it wasn’t the “audition DVDs” or the “agent” that got me thinking – it really was Russell’s reaction (as well as the notion that people close to him thought it was worth it to send him DVDs of Fillion’s work).

      We weren’t reporting on a “rumor” – just the notion that Wahlberg might not be 100 percent glued to the role yet.

  10. FINALLY They see the [Firefly] light.

  11. Nathan Fillion is the man, he would do fine in Uncharted. FireFly forever. Give me another movie with the old FireFly crew any day.

  12. I still think Bradley Cooper would be perfect for this.

  13. The movie sounds horrible with Wahlberg, Fillion would make it absolutely great.

  14. Mark walberg is simply not a good representative of Nathen Drake! But tbh I’m not keen on Nathen Fillion either, looks too old imo for the role!

    There must be some Late 20′s early 30′s actor who can fill the role!

  15. Fillion is the Better choice

  16. Geez, I hope so! Um isn’t that the acting they modeled the character after in the first place! I thought so!

  17. When,oh when,will people stop swinging on Nathan Fillion’s jock?!

    For Christ sake,is it really necessary that he play every fanboy character that’s available?!

    Let is go guys,let it go.

  18. Fillion would fit the character alright. But honestly anyone except Wahlberg! He has no character for Drake!

    I think as someone said here, Bradley Cooper would also fit Drake’s presence. His physique would suite better also, more slim than Fillion.

    I can only hope that they’ll correct their wrongs and PAY ATTENTION to the source material! It’s not that hard! Come on!

  19. Hmm….

    They are both good choices.

  20. Is this guys serious. “Who’s Nathan Fillion?” Come on how is this guy even being considered to make this movie. Its obvious he isn’t taking it very seriously.

  21. I second the statement that maybe its better if Nathan has nothing to do with this considering how it doesn’t even sound remotely close to the game.

  22. Fillion would be great in uncharted

  23. While I’m 100% behind Nathan Fillion as Drake, I also think that David Boreanaz could also pull off the role.

  24. I’m gonna say something controversial.I only like Whalberg in serious films, for me he’s too straight faced for comedy/adventure fare, there I said it!

  25. I do think that Nathan Fillion will be good as Drake but he’s not young enough and neither is Mark Wahlberg. For me, if Fillion took on this role he would have to get into shape.

    I think that Joe Mangeneillo should play Drake. He’s young, looks like him, he’s a good actor, in good shape and i’m guessing would be popular with the audience as he’s in True Blood. He’s brilliant for the part.

    Check him out (take that however you want)

  26. Am I the only one that doesn’t think Nathan Fillion can actually -act-?

    Sure, that one character he plays is very entertaining. He was an entertaining Captain in Dr Horrible AND Firefly. And he’s doing a good job on Castle.

    But it’s still all the same character.

    And now people are clamoring for him to play Nathan Drake, simply because Nathan Drake is also almost identical to every role Nathan Fillion has ever played?

    Personally, I feel like I’ve already seen Nathan Fillion’s portrayal of the role in EVERYTHING he’s done. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone else give it a shot.

    Now is Marky Mark the best choice? That remains to be seen. But Mark Wahlberg has surprised me more than a few times in the past, so I’m more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I’m ALWAYS willing to give a proven actor the benefit of the doubt. Because the point of acting is to portray a character that ISN’T yourself.

  27. I love both actors but seriously, Nathan Fillion born to play Drake.

  28. There is a poll about who should play Drake here

    Not much love for Wahlberg on it. Fillion is well in the lead, but for some reason Peter Dinklage is on the list along with Angelina Jolie!!

  29. Here’s an idea of a “younger” actor who might be good for the role;Milo Ventimiglia.

    If you wanna go a little older,how about Bradley Cooper?

    Aren’t ANY of you getting sick of all the Nathan Fillion for this,and Nathan Fillion for that,talk?!

    Time to get some new ideas about casting guy,instead of latching on for dear life to all of the fanboy favorites.Next thing that we’ll hear is that Johnny Depp “should” play Nathan Drake.

    • Seriously, you talk about new ideas and then throw out Bradley Cooper?

      • Well who would you suggest then,not including Fillion? besides,name me three movies that you always hear people wanting to cast Cooper for.He might be on the upswing in popularity right now,but he’s far from a “fanboy” favorite on the level the Fillion is.