Bumblebee helmsman Travis Knight is now the latest director to sign on for Sony's Uncharted video game movie adaptation. The news arrives on what's already been a busy day of announcements concerning Uncharted star Tom Holland, with Sony and Marvel Studios having officially closed a deal to work on Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (not the actual title) and scheduled the MCU adventure for a Summer 2021 release.
Holland is currently set to star in Uncharted as a younger version of treasure hunter Nathan Drake from the original games. It's a far cry from the version of the project that David O. Russell was developing almost a decade ago, which would've seen Mark Wahlberg suit up as Nathan Drake, with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci costarring as, respectively, his father and uncle. The Uncharted movie has since seen a number of directors come and go, transforming into a prequel about the younger Drake along the way.
Following 10 Cloverfield Lane helmer Dan Trachtenberg's departure as director in August, Deadline reports that Knight has entered negotiations to helm Uncharted, with production slated to begin in early 2020. Assuming he closes the deal, Knight will draw from a new script written by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man, Men in Black: International) in collaboration with Agents of SHIELD veteran Rafe Judkins. The latter also wrote The Division video game movie that's set up at Netflix.
Knight comes from a background in animation and made his feature debut with 2016's Oscar-nominated stop motion fantasy adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings. He made an equally big splash with his live-action debut on last year's spinoff-prequel Bumblebee, which received (easily) the most positive critical response to a Transformers movie so far, and demonstrated that Knight knows how to combine thoughtful storytelling with slick CG-heavy spectacle. Paramount is said to be working on a Bumblebee sequel at the moment, but there haven't been any major updates on the project in recent months, and it's not even clear if Knight is planning to return for the followup at all (assuming it does, in fact, eventually happen).
Although Knight closed a deal to direct Wahlberg's The Six Billion Dollar Man reboot in April, the plan is for him to make Uncharted first. The latter is on a tight schedule if it wants to make its current December 2020 date, seeing as it needs to get through production before Holland sets to work on his upcoming Spider-Man movie next year. Fortunately, Knight seems up to the task of not only becoming the director who - at long last - gets Uncharted off the ground, but delivering an entertaining Indiana Jones-style action-adventure in time for next year's winter holiday frame.
- Uncharted (2020) release date: Dec 18, 2020