Did Tom Holland’s ‘Spider-Man’ Accidentally Kill Another Franchise?

The Spider-Man franchise has catapulted actor Tom Holland into the spotlight. With his fame and notoriety has come more big roles, but the tight demand of his schedule for the Spider-Man films is really throwing a wrench in things for a different movie franchise he’s set to lead.

He was cast as a young Nathan Drake for the video-game turned film, Uncharted, but there’s just one big problem: The production can’t seem to hold onto their directors.

Tom Holland on the red carpet
Tom Holland | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

How many directors has ‘Uncharted’ lost?

The first Uncharted video game was created by Naughty Dog and released by PlayStation in 2007. It follows adventurer Nathan Drake and his mentor, Victor “Sully” Sullivan as they travel the world’s most mysterious sites looking for lost treasure.

The game was a hit, with loyal fans following along as the series continued through various sequels. As a story-driven game, it was a natural match for a film adaptation and the film version of Uncharted has been in the works for almost a decade now.

David O. Russell (American Hustle) was originally slated to direct, and Mark Wahlberg was to play the lead character, treasure hunter Nathan Drake.

In 2011 Russell left the project, and after him, a string of directors came and went. In 2012, Divergent director Neil Burger was already off the project, followed by Seth Gordon (Baywatch) in 2015, Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) in 2018, and Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) in 2019.

This list brings us up to date with the most recent director loss, Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) who didn’t quite make it into 2020, leaving the project in December of 2019. That’s right, the film has already lost six directors. 

Now Wahlberg is still involved in the project, playing Sully alongside Holland as Drake, and fans are wondering who the seventh director with be, and if the film will ever get made at all. 

What fans think about having an ‘Uncharted’ film at this point

Though the Uncharted games were a huge success, the last one, Uncharted 4 was released nearly 4 years ago, and some fans think the film production missed the boat.

Upon hearing the news of the loss of Knight, fan comments looked bleak. One fan wrote, “They just need to put a fork in this project already. This long after the last game in the series was released no one cares anymore. I think Holland was a good casting choice but at this point, even the most hardcore fans have lost interest.”

Another commented, “I mean they could just take this as a sign and not make it.” This garnered a response saying, “How many signs do they need?”

There is no shortage of jokes about the matter, and it seems Uncharted fans are a little less die-hard than others fanbases. They’re taking more of a take it or leave it approach, and that isn’t the kind of excitement you want going into filming.

One fan joked, “Man this is so meta. It’s like the Uncharted movie keeps reaching for a solid handhold and “wh-whoa-whoa-WHOA! Keep going! I’ll find another way up!”

Another referenced the long string of lost directors writing, “It’s not you… it’s me.”

Should the studio give up on Tom Holland?

Many fans think that if the movie has any hope of getting off the ground, the production should scrap Holland. It’s his scheduling issues, after all, that are holding the production up.

One fan commented, “Just replace Tom Holland, who will NEVER BE A STAR outside of Spider-Man.”

Some fans already have his replacement in mind with one Twitter user writing, “Y’all know how much I adore Tom Holland, but I think it’s time we start fresh and do Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake for the Uncharted movie AND add in John Corbett as his older brother Sam Drake.”

Indeed, many fans are calling for a recast with Nathan Fillion (Firefly) playing Drake, no doubt in part due to the unauthorized fan-film of Uncharted where he already played the role. This, of course, isn’t being floated by any of the studio executives and would require yet another script re-write.

For now, it looks like the Sony Studios is sticking with Holland, though the jokes will continue about how, by the time the film gets made, he’ll be old enough to play Sully.