Every way the movie takes up video games

The Unexplored The film finally brings the blockbuster video game series to the big screen, but the film’s first trailer revealed that it makes some big changes as well. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the film stars Tom Holland as Nathan Drake, Mark Wahlberg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan and Sophia Taylor Ali as Chloe Frazer, as well as a supporting cast including Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas. Unexplored is scheduled for February 18, 2022.

When it comes to adapting video games, Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record. A big reason why so many past attempts have failed is that they change the core story of their games too much, leading to films that have little appeal to new audiences or fans of the originals. Obviously, there are a few things that need to be tweaked for video games to work on the big screen, but it’s hard to strike a balance between how much to tweak and how much to keep.

Related: Uncharted: Every Game Character In The Movie & How They Compare To

Unfortunately the new Unexplored the movie trailer hints that the movie may not be balanced. There are a number of obvious retcons visible throughout, both in terms of character portrayals and the overall franchise timeline. That doesn’t necessarily mean the film will be a failure, but it doesn’t bode well for those looking for a faithful recreation of the games. Here are the biggest retcons Unexplored the film is doing.

Uncharted movie changes the way Nate and Sully meet

Unexplored Swords Sully Nathan Drake

In the Unexplored video games, Nathan Drake meets Sully when he was only 15 years old. At the time, Nate was in Colombia, making his way around the world and trying to steal a ring that belonged to famous pirate Sir Francis Drake – something Sully is also looking for. The two characters intersect when they both play for the same treasure, eventually starting a beautiful mentorship and lifelong friendship. In the Unexplored film, however, Dutchman Nathan Drake meets Sully very differently.

The Unexplored The trailer begins with a scene of Nate working as a bartender in a chic New York living room. This is where he meets Sully. At this point in the story, Holland’s Drake appears to be around 20 years old, maybe even a little older. This change doesn’t just reflect Nate and Sully’s age when they first meet and how their relationship begins; it also effectively clears all events from Uncharted 3, which revolves directly on the heist that initially brings together the two treasure hunters. This indicates that the Unexplored the movie exists in a completely different canon than the games.

Uncharted movie changes the way Sam Drake goes missing

Nathan Drake’s brother, Sam, remains hidden in the Unexplored trailer, but it is mentioned several times. The Ferdinand Magellan treasure that Nate and Sully are looking for also appears to be linked to Sam’s disappearance, according to a line from Sully in the trailer. As of yet, no actor has been announced to play Sam Drake in the Unexplored movie, but it seems possible that he could appear towards the end of the movie in some sort of cameo. Either way, this version of Sam’s story is very different from that of the Unexplored video games.

Related: Unexplored Movie Timeline: How Long Before The Games Is Set?

In the games, Sam doesn’t disappear until he and Nate are both adults, and he’s actually believed to be dead until proven guilty in Unexplored 4. Earlier in their lives, Sam had a knack for disappearing for long periods of time working on one job or another, but it kept coming back. In Holland Unexplored film, Nathan Drake seems to have missed his brother for some time, but under significantly different circumstances. It’s not a huge change, but given the importance of Nate and Sam’s past later in the games, it could have bigger implications if a Unexplored the sequel is never produced.

How the Uncharted movie changes Sully

Mark Wahlberg as Sully and Uncharted Game Sully

Although not exactly a retcon, the Unexplored the trailer shows big changes in the character of Victor Sullivan. In the games, Sully is a gruff, cigar-gnawing, swearing Paul Newman type with a bushy mustache and a penchant for whining. She is a strong and distinct personality who brings a lot of fun energy to the world of Unexplored. Unfortunately the Unexplored Sully’s film version appears to lack many of these hallmarks. Wahlberg’s Sully doesn’t have a mustache. He doesn’t have a cigar. He speaks in a low voice and has very few distinctive manners or strong personality traits. It appears, in all respects, unremarkable. This doesn’t inherently make him a bad character, but when the source material is so rich in slogans and iconic behaviors – none of which is present in the Unexplored trailer – it’s hard not to see the changes as bad overall.

How the movie Uncharted changes Nathan Drake

Characters from the game Uncharted Movie Drake Chloe

Sony also made some big changes to Nathan Drake’s character in Holland’s Unexplored prequel, and not just in the character’s age. It is true that, since the film positioned itself earlier on the whole Unexplored timeline, Nate is much younger than audiences might expect, but that doesn’t explain the other ways the character has been altered during his transition to the big screen. He’s less sarcastic, less arrogant, more naive, and in many ways, more like Holland’s naive MCU Spider-Man than he is from video games’ Nathan Drake. It is not necessarily the actor’s fault. On the contrary, it less than favorably reflects Sony’s overall direction with the film, which seems to prioritize mainstream appeal over loyalty to the source material.

Even in the flashbacks of his teenage years, the Unexplored the games always show that Nate is a tough, driven, and street savvy person. In contrast, the trailer for the film includes a line where Nathan Drake from Holland says he was “dreaming about this stuff” since childhood, which indicates that this is his first real treasure hunting adventure. In games, he would have been on several already, having traveled the world with his brother and learned the tricks of the trade. Overall, the movie seems to change Nathan Drake to fit his actor, rather than the other way around. It may seem like a minor change, but because Unexplored is already a pretty derivative story taken from established franchises like Indiana Jones, removing the stories and traits that make its main characters unique seems like a big mistake.

Next: Uncharted Movie Trailer Breakdown: 20 Greatest Stories Revealed & Easter Eggs

  • Unexplored (2022)Release Date: February 11, 2022

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