Mark Wahlberg to Play Nathan Drake in UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE; De Niro and Pesci Under Consideration to Co-Star

     November 24, 2010


Earlier this month, we reported the rumor that Mark Wahlberg was to play the lead in David O. Russell’s adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.  We also reported that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were in talks to co-star.  Speaking to MTV, Wahlberg has now clarified those rumors.  He confirms that he will play the lead role of adventurer Nathan Drake (sorry, Nathan Fillion).  It will be his fourth film with O. Russell.  Said Wahlberg,

“David is one of the best writer/directors I’ve ever worked with.  The idea that he has is just insane. So hopefully we’ll be making that movie this summer.”

Hit the jump for how De Niro and Pesci fit into the picture and my thoughts on Wahlberg as Drake.

Neither De Niro nor Pesci are officially on board, but Wahlberg tells MTV that he’s spoken to Pesci and that O. Russell’s people have talked with De Niro.  As to who the two Hollywood icons would play:

“I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it 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.”

I’m not sure what the watered-down version is.  I can’t imagine this movie getting an R-rating despite the violence of the video game and that Drake basically murders about 500 people over the course of the story.  As for De Niro and Pesci, Drake’s father and uncle have never appeared in the games, so it will be interesting to see how far O. Russell’s script branches into new territory.  The first game centers on Drake’s quest for El Dorado while the second game has him searching for Shangri-La.

But I’m not a huge fan of casting Wahlberg.  Wahlberg plays a good tough guy, but Drake (at least the endearing Drake from the game) is more scrappy and resourceful.  He’s the guy who goes “Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!” when a grenade lands near him.  It’s a looser character and while Wahlberg may be able to play it, he’s always seemed too uptight and stoic, even in a comedy like The Other Guys.  Hopefully he’ll be able to pull it off, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that Fillion didn’t get the role.


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  • Rockman_blues

    I hate to hear it. But, I’m gonna give Wahlberg a chance and hope that the movie turns out just as great if not better than the games, regardless of them both being different experiences. Best of luck to cast and crew.

  • Javanclark

    This movie will fail. The choice of Wahlberg over Fillion shows a true lack of quality judgement on the part of the producers. Not worth seeing IMO, and I have only cast doubt on a movie without seeing once before, so this isn’t something I do often.

  • moviefandudeguy

    I think this is going to work. David O Russell brings out the best in Mark Wahlberg. I don’t think there is a better director/actor combo out there now and if anyone can make Mark Wahlberg convincing as Nathan Drake it’s David O Russell. I Heart Hucklebees is drastically differant than anything in Wahlbergs repertoire so hopefully they’ll be able to pull this off

    • Amaxia

      Scorsese – DiCaprio
      Nolan – Bale
      Scott – Crowe – Sometimes
      Del Toro – Pearlman
      Scott – Washington
      Bay – Labeouf – Kidding
      There are some pairings that are slightly better than O Russel-Wahlberg

  • Hywel Jones

    I’m sad it’s not Fillion, but Wahlberg is a great comedic actor (as proved in I heart huckabees) which I think is important to Drakes character. shouldn’t think he’ll have trouble with the action hero stuff either

  • Bouff

    I anticipate it will be a failure of epic proportions like his effort in Max Payne.

  • OG

    Well, I’m pretty disappointed that Fillion didn’t get the part. And I don’t like the idea about them venturing into different characters. I think the game had a great balance of story and action, so I don’t know why they would divert from that. However, I love Three Kings, so I’ll try to keep my disappointment in check until I see the trailer.

  • IllusionOfLife

    The video game only has a T Rating, the ESRB equivalent to PG-13. The violence in Uncharted was no more than what you see in Pirates of the Caribbean and less brutal, I’d wager, than what you get in The Lord of the Rings film. There’s no chance that a faithful adaptation of this game would get higher than a PG-13 rating.

    As for the casting, I’m cautiously optimistic. I like Mark Wahlberg, but I’m not totally certain I can see him in the role. As for all this father and uncle business, I’m as confused as the next guy, when I saw De Niro’s name associated with this project I instantly thought he’d be cast as Sully.

  • Elitist Prick

    I have to agree that Wahlberg is not the right choice. He’s always so grim and serious, which is why he was the straight man in The Other Guys. You need someone who can bring more delight and exuberance into… well, shooting people.

  • Whatucallme84

    y new characters? put a mustache on de niro hes perfect for victor sullivan. wahlberg is ok i guess. wahlberg has never really impressed me with anything he has done. but i will wait to see the movie before i make judgement on how it is

  • Anonymous

    Video game adaptations tend to make poor movies independent of the quality of the source material because the movies end up too stiff and unimaginative. Wahlberg is just about the most stiff and unimaginative casting choice possible, so I have no reason to expect this adaptation to succeed where dozens of others have failed. Even though I love the game, I think I’ll pass on this fiasco waiting to happen.

  • Anonymous

    Video game adaptations tend to make poor movies independent of the quality of the source material because the movies end up too stiff and unimaginative. Wahlberg is just about the most stiff and unimaginative casting choice possible, so I have no reason to expect this adaptation to succeed where dozens of others have failed. Even though I love the game, I think I’ll pass on this fiasco waiting to happen.


  • Benroscoe

    Should be Fillion -Drake, and Bruce Campbell – Sully. This is already off to a bad start…and I was really anticipating this movie.

  • J.J.

    This is why we post anonymously on the web rather than run a studio or direct films. A direct adaption from game to screen is exactly what this project doesn’t need. The batting average for these adaptions is about .080, with only Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, and the first Tomb Raider being even somewhat succesful. Why would we need another “gee whiz” wise cracking fortune hunter when we’ve already had Indiana Jones and the National Treasure movies. Yes Wahlberg is not a great actor but he’s very good when he is in his comfort zone and if written correctly this could be exactly the part he knocks out if the park. O’Russell is a very good writer/director and if he is excited about his concept for the property who are we to declare the film a fiasco before one nail is hammered on the set.

  • Yahzee

    I too was looking forward to Nillion to get the part…. oh well…. I like Wahlberg aswell

  • WyldeMan45

    Very uninspired casting. First they give Wahlberg the Crow, and thankfully that died quickly. Hopefully that happens here. No Fillion, no dice!

  • Jmaura10

    Im not excited that Wahlberg has been chosen. Unless they totally stray away from the character in the game, Wahlberg has just never displayed the type of personality that drake has, hes always been Mark Wahlberg in… w.e. movie, he’s just so dull to watch. I hope this falls threw, if not I hope he proves me wrong because I know this could make a great fun movie.

  • zachnat

    Matt, I’m with you.. Fillion owned this role. This is an epic fail.

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  • Dogg

    Lame Indiana Jones wannabe.

  • Jim Goff

    Yeah, I don’t mind Wahlberg, but not for this. He doesn’t seem to fit.
    Not to mention, I doubt uppity “Red-faced “O’Russel has any kind of real respect for video games as a serious story telling medium and he’ll basically shred anything from the games and come up with his own story line we’ll all utimately hate.

  • Banks

    True fans of the game and character should honestly boycott this decision and vow to not spend one cent on anything related to this debacle. This could have been such an epic movie and then when they got to the second one it would have been even better. This is a failure. Mark Wahlberg can’t act for shit and Pesci and Deniro haven’t had anything watchable in almost 15 years.

  • WTF

    Are you friggin kidding me?? This douche has already destroyed Max Payne, and now he’s going to ruin Drake? Why in the hell didn’t they cast Nathan Fillion? I guess they want to sabotage this movie before it’s even released. Piece of sh!t Hollywood!

  • pgitt

    I love David O. Russell and Wahlberg has done his best work with him. The only thing that strikes me as strange is that no one else can get along with Russell, but yet somehow he and Wahlberg are making their fourth film together. What gives?

  • Anonymous

    Truly wretched casting. But for as long as it’s Russell, it’ll be Wahlberg. I could name six actors off the top of my head who would at least be a better potential Drake than him, in the sense that: he has NO potential as Drake.Mark W can be convincing as: a cop, a crook, a fireman, or (yes) a boxer. Anything blue-collar, he can do. Now, Harrison Ford, a blue-collar guy, can play a professor, a president, anything. And people moan about Ford’s range?Drake isn’t in Wahlberg’s vocabulary. He’s not a generic blank slate for DOR to substitute with his favored leading man. He’s already written, pretty well, and we know what he looks like. He looks like Harrison Ford, only younger. Mark Wahlberg looks like my grandad, only older. Seriously, this guy is only 39? My ballsack has fewer wrinkles. So when David O inevitably abandons the project, let’s have Matthew Davis, or fanboy fave Nathan Fillion maybe.

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  • Xxgatorxxsg

    mark is gd in some roles but basically plays the same character in every movie-
    heard he might be in the new crow movie-wrong on every level
    on this though he dosent have what the role calls for. played both games
    flannaigan or fillion would both be much better choices
    new york tough guy might not be the best choice for this role.
    whatever prob straight to video anyway
    all video game movies as a rule suck
    i think its the law or something that they need to be mediocre

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