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Uncharted Movie – Why Hollywood Doesn’t Care What You Think

Uncharted Movie – Why Hollywood Doesn’t Care What You Think

It’s not in my nature to be harsh, but in some quarters it seems a wake up call is needed when it comes to the gnashing of teeth over the direction the Uncharted Movie is taking. Even on this magazine team we have expressed our dismay that our favourite actor for the role (Nathan FillionĀ  naturally) has been passed over in favour of Mark Wahlberg. It doesn’t sit right with a lot of fans and we not only sympathise, but share that feeling. The unfortunate truth is that no one but us really gives a damn.

The key reason for all this is money. If you haven’t caught on to this yet then let me enlighten you; the movie industry is… wait for it… an industry. It’s key concern? Art? Fan service? Creativity? No. Money! The bottom line? How many people can we convince to go see this movie?

“But wait!” I hear you cry (although you don’t), “Uncharted has been a hugely successful title on PS3. Surely, if they make a movie the fans will appreciate then it will be a success!” I’m afraid to say that the numbers simply don’t add up for that argument. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the movie is going to have a budget of upwards of $40 million (Max Payne was $35 million). And let’s assume that with Nathan Fillion as the lead every single person who bought Uncharted 2: Among Thieves decides to go and see the movie in the cinema. With estimated sales of around 4.5 million and an average ticket price of about $8, that’s about $36 million. [note – sorry about all the American currency, but it’s easier to compare this way]

When a big studio makes a ‘summer blockbuster’ type film it wants to see returns break the $100 million mark. It wants to see its star appearing on evening chat shows, magazine interviews and endorsing products in ad breaks. Nathan Fillion may be the choice of the fans, but he isn’t going to bums on seats in the way that the movie industry trusts Mark Wahlberg will.

While I’d rather not rub salt in the wound here I feel obliged to throw in some figures from Nathan Fillion only starring Hollywood role, Serenity. Its budget was $39 million, it had a PG-13 rating (that’s good, because it doesn’t really restrict who gets to see it) and it made an estimated $25.5 million at the box office. It shouldn’t have been that way. I deserved to be more successful, but it wasn’t.

And sure these movies find a second wind once released on DVD and Blu-ray. Those sales figures will climb and climb into infinity. A movie never really dies, but all the studios really care about is the box office and sometimes just the opening weekend. It’s all about the bragging rights and the press releases and the record breaking. Slow burners rarely get a break.

And so David O. Russell turns to his old friend, an established leading man and respected actor and teams him up with a couple of industry legends in De Niro and Pesci (whose reuniting alone will get the film coverage in a lot of media) and Uncharted as a movie entity will take on a life of its own, beyond the fans. Is it the only way to succeed? I have no idea. Is it the only way Hollywood thinks you can succeed? Yes.

[An apology – sorry for the downbeat nature of this post. I love films, I love Uncharted and I even love Nathan Fillion and think like most others that he is a ridiculously good fit for this role, but the shouting and hollering is getting me down… Thursday shouldn’t be this depressing]

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  • RBL

    yeah i must say, i don’t really play Uncharted, but i still agree with you guys (though i like both actors) Nathan seems to be a better fit than what Mark will. in saying that if Mark can pull it off it’ll be a complete change to the type of acting i’ve seen him play.

    still i prefer Nathan, atm, on NZ TV, he’s on a show called Castle, which he plays as i would see Drake being played as well as his past on Firefly.

    and don’t worry thursday only really got worse šŸ˜›

  • Sean

    They’re gonna kill it. Nathan Fillion has my vote, but it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Brendan

    I love Uncharted but the only way I’d go to see the movie is if Nolan North was in it

  • Garan

    Now theres going to be a bunch of prats talking about the movie after they’ve see it,who don’t game at all.They will say like “Did you see Uncharted,Mark Walhberg is so awesome” and they I’ll be like “I’ve played the games” then they will be like “When did they make games based on the movies” then I’ll be in holding for the rest of the night due to violent misconduct.Next thing you know Uncharted 3 featuring MARKY BOY!!!Nolan North may have to fear for his job.They TC Carson cause they’ll get Dwayne Johnson(or some other unfit to the role actor) to play Kratos.The gaming world is being…casualized.

  • FireflyFlan

    Unfortunately, it’s true that Serenity wasn’t a box office success BUT Nathan was basically an unknown actor (in TV *and* movies) at the time. Given that he’s now on a very successful TV show on a major network, his movie credibility to carry a film should be higher than it was back then — still no where near Mark Wahlberg’s success, but yeah …

    And I agree, I wish Hollywood would have had the cajones to take the chance on Nathan Fillion. I mean … remember back in 1977 when a little sci-fi film called Star Wars (before a subtitle/number was added) went into the stratosphere on the backs of a bunch of unknowns, who are now industry superstars because they embodied their roles perfectly, the script was terrific, and the SFX (at the time) were awe-inspiring. Oh, and remember that huge action flick last year (take your pic of several) filled with mega superstars and mega-SFX that flopped because “they” cast based upon “star-quality” only (and these folks didn’t fit their roles)–or horrors, SFX only–and the scripts were mediocre or crap.

    If the script and SFX are excellent (i.e. retains the spirit and characteristics of the game) and Marky Mark attempts to embody the character of Nathan Drake, the movie will probably do well. Whether gamers embrace it is another story all together.

    I also agree that it’s time to let it go …