Last month, we reported that director Dan Trachtenberg had left Sony’s long-in-development Uncharted, making him the, let’s say 151st director, to leave a project that has the complex narrative of “roguish hero searches for treasure.” Deadline now reports that Bumblebee and Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight is in negotiations to take the director’s chair on the project, which is still set to begin production early next year and holds a release date of December 18, 2020.
You may recall that Knight was on the shortlist to direct Venom 2, and while that gig ultimately went to Andy Serkis, the studio clearly likes Knight and felt he was a good fit for Uncharted, which is based off the long-running PlayStation video game series about treasure hunter Nathan Drake. While in the games Drake is in his 30s, the movies will be an origin story of sorts with Tom Holland playing the young Drake who’s just getting started in a life of traveling the world, finding ancient ruins, and accidentally destroying them when he sets off a booby trap.
There are no further details on the story or the script from writers Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Rafe Judkins, but it’s apparently been a major hurdle that other directors haven’t been able to get over the creative differences with the studio. What’s funny about all of this is that Uncharted will probably be a perfectly adequate movie at the end of the day. I like Knight as a director, but video game movies are particularly tough to crack. I doubt it’s going to come out, be greeted as an instant classic, and people will say, “Boy, I’m sure glad they fiddled around with this property for over a decade to get it right!” Again, it’s about a guy looking for treasure. That’s it. There’s no complicated mythology, no vast world building. It’s very simple, and I hope that Knight can at least get this thing to the finish line so I don’t have to keep writing about directors hopping on and off this thing like it’s a city bus.