It has been nearly three years since the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane and I’ve been eager to see how director Dan Trachtenberg would follow that claustrophobic thriller. Today brings word that Trachtenberg will direct Tom Holland in Sony’s big-budget Uncharted movie based on the hit video game.
Shawn Levy was previously attached to direct the tentpole, though he pulled out several weeks ago in order to direct the Ryan Reynolds action comedy Fall Guy for 20th Century Fox. Seth Gordon and Neil Burger were also attached to direct previous incarnations of the project, as was David O. Russell, who had Mark Wahlberg in mind to play treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Now that the dust has seemingly settled, I happen to think that Trachtenberg is best suited for this job, even though I wish he’d held out for a more interesting project. Then again, Sony surprised everyone with its Jumanji revamp, which might be the best video game movie ever made even though it wasn’t based on an actual video game, so perhaps lightning will strike the same studio once again.
Sony has franchise hopes for Uncharted, which is why the studio decided to cast a much younger actor as Nathan Drake, turning to its homegrown Spider-Man star Holland. The film is expected to be a prequel to the Naughty Dog video game, and the actor’s savvy use of social media should only help Uncharted chart its own path to box office glory.
Ari Arad and Avi Arad of Arad Productions will produce alongside Charles Roven and Alex Gartner of Atlas Entertainment. Jonathan Rosenberg and Mark Walker wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay (Joe Carnahan also had a hand in the script), and Sony executive Jonathan Kadin will oversee the project for the studio. Production is expected to start before the end of the year, and certainly after Sony releases Spider-Man: Far From Home. Speaking of which, a trailer for that superhero sequel could arrive as soon as this week.
Not only did 10 Cloverfield Lane gross more than $100 million worldwide on a reported production budget of less than $20 million, but the film boasts a 90 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Trachtenberg went on to direct the Black Mirror episode “Playtest” starring Wyatt Russell, but the features he’d been developing — like The Secret Life of Houdini — never came to fruition. Eager to get back behind a camera, Trachtenberg most recently directed the pilot for Amazon’s The Boys, which will premiere on the streaming service later this year.
I’m not a big gamer so I was never terribly excited for the Uncharted movie, but Trachtenberg’s involvement will make it tough to dismiss, and I look forward to what he can do with this property. He’s represented by ICM Partners and Grandview, and Variety broke the news.