Sony's attempts to adapt Naughty Dog's Uncharted video game series into a movie has had, shall we say, difficulties. Here is the chronology of said difficulties (which, it must be said, are not that much more numerous than most blockbusters', though they was definitely more public):
- Early 2008: development starts under producer Avi Arad and Sahara writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
- June 2009: The Uncharted movie is first announced to the public.
- October 2010: David O. Russell is set to write and direct the movie.
- November 2010: Mark Wahlberg cast as series protagonist Nathan Drake, angering fans, who near-universally want Drake's doppelganger Nathan Fillion; he claims Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci will co-star.
- May 2011: David O. Russell drops out.
- July 2011: Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless, Divergent) steps in for Russell.
- August 2012: Neil Burger drops out; Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (National Treasure) are assigned to do a rewrite.
- February 2014: Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) is hired to direct, from yet another script by David Guggenheim (Safe House). Production is set to begin in early 2015, with a June 2016 release date.
- November 2014: Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) is hired to write a movie called Uncharted; Chris Pratt is revealed to have turned the movie down, citing the proposed contract, which would hold him "until production finishes or the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first."
- April 2015: David Guggenheim's script leaks as part of the infamous Sony hack.
- June 2015: Seth Gordon quits over creative differences and "third degree development-hell burns".
- August 2015: Sony announces a new release date of June 30, 2017.
- July 2016: Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Smokin' Aces) hired to write a new script "to bring the pile to a nice round ten metres tall".
- September 2016: Uncharted vanishes from Sony's release schedule.
- October 2016: Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) hired to direct.
- January 2017: Carnahan's script is completed.
- May 2017: Spider-Man's Tom Holland becomes the latest choice for Nathan Drake - specifically, a young Nathan Drake.
- January 2018: Rafe Judkins (Agents of SHIELD) hired to perform a rewrite.
- July 2018: Fan favourite Nathan Fillion releases an Uncharted fan film, starring himself as Nathan Drake. It does not count as an Uncharted movie.
- December 2018: Shawn Levy quits, citing the need to "give the next sucker a turn spinning the wheels."
Which brings us to today: Dan Trachtenberg is Sony's new choice to direct the film adaptation of one of its most valuable IPs. Trachtenberg, of course, hit the scene with a smash hit in the form of 10 Cloverfield Lane, a movie that both quintupled its budget at the box office and earned plaudits from critics.
Gamers can't fault Trachtenberg for his credentials, either. He was hired for 10 Cloverfield Lane at least in part on the strength of his Portal fan film (embedded below), has spent time developing an actual Portal feature, and directed the "Playtest" episode of Black Mirror. My man definitely understands that video games exist.
As far as we know, Tom Holland is still on board, and the movie will be a prequel to the video games. However, the latest draft comes courtesy of yet another pair of writers, Jonathan Rosenberg and Mark Walker. The start date is (sigh) undetermined as yet, largely thanks to Holland's Spider-Man: Far From Home press tour obligations, but by God, Sony intends to see this project through if it bankrupts them.