Because they’re so well written, genuinely compelling and painstakingly cinematic, it has always seemed inevitable that Sony’s Uncharted series would be adapted for the big screen at some point. Those first two (masterful) Uncharted titles are perhaps two of the very finest action adventure games released during the current console generation – and quite possibly ever. But because Nathan Drake is such a refreshingly unassuming character; more of an everyman than Indiana Jones, less cold and intimidating than James Bond; the casting of the upcoming film could be crucial to its success. However, irrespective of how all of this pans out, most of the fans will be able to dull the pain next year when the feverishly anticipated third instalment arrives in November.
Wahlberg has hinted on numerous occasions that he’s already signed on, but director David O Russell insists that it isn’t a done deal just yet. The pair have already worked together three times to much acclaim, so it seems like a natural pairing. But beefy Wahlberg isn’t exactly lean and limber, and has yet to display that he can play someone with Drake’s unequivocal affability. Recent roles in The Other Guys and Date Night showed his deft knack for light comedy, but he’s an actor who is at his finest when he’s playing an abrasive bully – as he did in The Basketball Diaries and The Departed. But the man’s a star, and with the dire track record of almost all recent movie-to-game adaptations, a star is what the studio will almost certainly deem to be of primary importance. Although that attitude didn’t help Max Payne. Odds: 1/9
The outsider, and absolutely the fan favourite. Many of Uncharted’s most vocal fans insist that Drake actually is Fillion, and if you’ve seen him in the likes of Serenity (in which he basically played Han Solo’s cooler brother) or cult horror comedy Slither, you may find it hard to disagree. Fillion is also a dab hand with the same brand of gentle sarcasm that Drake is famous for, and of all the actors who have been mentioned here, he is the one who most closely resembles the character physically. His current work schedule is governed by an ongoing commitment to popular TV crime drama Castle, which may hinder his chances somewhat. Similarly, and irritatingly, director David O Russell is rumoured to have never heard of him. Odds: 49/1
The second-tier fan favourite and another resoundingly solid candidate. Rumours emerged at the beginning of December that Cooper had actually already signed on to star, although they were quickly nixed by Sony a few short hours later. The fact that the fans didn’t revolt when they received this news must appear to be a great sign for the studio, and having been at the epicentre of one of the most profitable films of the past decade can’t have hurt his standing either. In fact, just picturing him wearing Drake’s battered old threads makes us think that he might actually be the guy. We’d personally plump for Nathan Fillion first, but an announcement that Cooper is set to star would be no bad thing. Odds: 19/1
He isn’t in the running, hasn’t even been suggested at any point (to our knowledge) and is apparently off the radar of most Uncharted fans, but we can’t help but wonder what Franco could bring to the part of Nathan Drake. He’s a skilled comedian, thoroughly convincing during action sequences, and is just generally a terrific all-round actor. With the exception of Pineapple Express and the upcoming Your Highness, his recent track record has seen him gravitating towards darker or more punishing roles, and the current Oscar buzz surrounding his performance in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours may convince him to stay on that path. So a pipe dream maybe, but an appealing one nonetheless. Odds: 10,000/1
The million-to-one long shot, although we think that it’s a mite sad that the boy North hasn’t even had a proper look-in here. In addition to basically creating the character that we all know and love, he is also an accomplished screen actor in his own right. It’ll never happen, but it would’ve been very pleasing to see North get some actual consideration and kudos at some juncture. He may not be the most generically pretty actor in the world, but then his average Joe charm has almost certainly assisted in shaping the core of Drake’s amiable personality. A few fans continue to protest in his favour, but sadly, the studio are probably more likely to cast Linda Hunt. Odds: 1,000,000/1
Watch the teaser trailer for Uncharted 3 here: