Back in January, Sony announced that Dan Trachtenberg - director of the excellent 10 Cloverfield Lane and one hell of an episode of Black Mirror - was climbing aboard the studio's long-gestating Uncharted movie. Based on the video game series of the same name and starring none other than Tom Holland, the project had gone through many, many setbacks, which BMD's Gaming Editor, Andrew Todd, documented in this post.
Let us relive the magic now (note: the below list was compiled by the aforementioned Mr. Todd):
- Early 2008: development starts under producer Avi Arad and Sahara writers 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."
Well, you read the headline. You know why we're here today.
- August 2019: Dan Trachtenberg exits as director of Uncharted.
Yes, according to Deadline, the Uncharted movie has lost yet another director, which means the search is on for the next willing sacrifice. There's no mention in Deadline's report as to why Trachtenberg left the production, though they do say a replacement director (possibly you!) should be announced by the end of the summer.
Y'know, "cursed productions" aren't really a thing. Some movies just have a rough go of things throughout the production process, and that turbulence can be caused by any number of things. But given the truly ridiculous journey Uncharted has experienced on its way to the silver screen, it's getting harder and harder not to look at this film as one which simply does not want to exist. The next director will be its sixth, for God's sake.
Nothing further to report at this time, but meet us back here in a few weeks, where we'll discover that (TBD) has been brought on to direct this definitely-not-cursed movie, and then in another three months, when we find out the whole thing's being pushed to 2022 and another director is being sought, and so on and so forth until we are all very much dead.