Sony has released the first official trailer for the Unexplored movie, starring Tom Holland as terminally ill thug Nathan Drake. Movies based on video games don’t have the best track record, sure, but it sounds like fun enough nonetheless.
Unexplored spent about a decade trapped in development hell, scouring directors and writers faster than a star wars spin off. When he reappeared a few years ago for real, Deadline reported that it would be rewritten as a prequel to the games. After watching the trailer, um, yeah, no. This movie is definitely not in the same canon as the games. (That’s not how Drake and Sully meet! Also: Where mustache?)
Still, the film clearly draws inspiration from the games it’s based on, lifting sets and, in some cases, stop-motion footage from the games. From the looks of it so far, it looks like Unexplored director Ruben Fleischer really knows his sources. Here are seven references you may have missed in the Unexplored trailer.
Drake’s family ring
Drake’s “sic parvis magna” family ring features prominently in the first and third Unexplored Games. Curiously, when he appears in the Unexplored trailer, Sully’s dialogue indicates he’s related to Drake’s brother Sam, who isn’t even mentioned until 2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. IMDB does not currently list anyone as Sam in the film. Given the nature of tentpole films to treat even the most minor casting news as a major spoiler, the door is always open for Sam to show up in some way – maybe, if nothing else. another, in an end-credits stinger.
These fucking things!
If you played a Unexplored game, it happened to you. You wander through a decrepit dungeon, probably trying to crack the code to an environmental puzzle of maddening wave, and then… Click on! Arrow to face. The movie presumably operates by movie rules (zero game over) rather than video game rules (infinite game over), so Holland’s Drake will likely dodge it at the last second with superhuman reflexes. And that’s when everyone realizes that Drake was really Spider-Man back in the whooooole days.
The cargo plane of Uncharted 3
Leaked images of this clip made the rounds yesterday. It’s taken straight from a mid-scene in Uncharted 3, to the guy who loses his grip and rolls 10,668.00m to his doom. (Hey, at least Holland isn’t throwing a sarcastic, arguably cruel, “A plus!” the way Nolan North’s Drake did in the game.)
It is also further proof that Unexplored the movie is separated from Unexplored the games, unless you’re willing to believe Drake has found himself in this same scenario twice in a lifetime.
The pirate ship of Uncharted 4
In the pre-trailer trailer, you can spot a pirate ship in an underground cavern. (You can also see it in the regular trailer, but I wanted an excuse to point out how ridiculous it is that movie studios are now releasing trailers with a sizzle reel.) It looks suspiciously like the pirate ship in an underground cavern that serves as the final centerpiece of Uncharted 4. Expect a sword fight as the thing heats up, folks.
In the Unexplored trailer, Sully and Drake meet at a fancy cocktail bar in Manhattan, with Drake shaking cocktails behind the bar. To my knowledge, Drake has never been bar in a Unexplored game (although there’s an IRL cocktail from social media sensation Tipsy Bartender called Drake’s Deception: ginger beer, goldschlager, and high-strength rum, then set it on fire). And none of the games spend a second in Manhattan.
Yet bars have long played a role in Unexplored Games. Remember the opening sequence of Uncharted 3, when Drake and Sully beat up a bunch of guys in a London pub before getting “shot”. Or how about later in the game, during the previous chapter, which shows how a young Sully and Drake Actually encountered: in an oppressed waterhole in Cartagena. And, of course, there’s the exclusive bidding tier of Uncharted 4apparently lifted for the movie here, where you can spot…
The cross of Saint Dismas of Uncharted 4
Or, something that could to be the Cross of Saint Dismas of Uncharted 4. Drake and Sam spend the first act of this game searching for a cross-shaped religious artifact containing instructions for finding pirate treasure halfway around the world. There are a few aesthetic differences (the movie’s cross is adorned with jewels, while the game’s is dusty and has a mold of a dude on it), but the trailer dwells on the relic enough to suggest that she will play an equally important role in the film as well.
Here it is!
With the Unexplored movie coming out this month, people are already foaming in their mouths for what’s to come. Given that the film is set before the games, many say Tom Holland seems a perfect fit for the role of Nathan Drake, despite his late discovery of the series. Safe to say that when Unexplored comes to the big screen, your friends here at Kotaku will zoom in to review.
The Uncharted movie will hit theaters on February 17, 2022.