Filmmaker Allan Ungar and Firefly star Nathan Fillion were just a couple of Uncharted fans tired of waiting for Hollywood to bring the action-adventure videogame to the big screen. And while Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy and Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland have been linked to an official Uncharted movie from Sony, that project has hit some snags over the years. So Ungar and Fillion decided to make their own project in secret this summer, and on Monday the duo debuted a 15-minute live-action “fan film.”
For years, gamers have been dream-casting Fillion as Nathan Drake, the thrill-seeking tomb raider of the Uncharted franchise. This became reality (albeit unofficially) in a story centered on the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar ship. Stephen Lang of Avatar portrays Nathan’s old friend and mentor Sully, Episodes’ Mircea Monroe pops in as Nathan’s wife, Elena, and the cast is rounded out by Geno Segers and Ernie Reyes Jr.
Now what seemed like a one-and-done passion project could become something more. Ungar tells EW he has already received “a couple emails” about “what this could mean as a digital series or something further.” So keep your fingers crossed. “I think if it makes sense and if it’s done right, I’d be thrilled to have a conversation about it and possibly see this specific story continue,” he says. (Sony did not respond to request for comment about Ungar and Fillion’s short, or the status of its Uncharted movie.)
Ungar and Fillion spoke with EW over the phone to discuss how they secretly shot the short over one week in May, using the games as inspiration, and Uncharted game developer Naughty Dog’s response to it.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your fan film was quite the surprise. How long had you guys been sitting on this project?
ALLAN UNGAR: January.
NATHAN FILLION: Yeah. January is when we started plotting it. And May? Did we shoot it in May?
UNGAR: Yeah. First week of May we shot it in L.A., but we agreed to do it in the last couple days in January.
Whose idea was it to make a short film like this?
UNGAR: The idea had come to me a couple years ago. It was shortly after the “Power/Rangers” short had come out and there was this period of time when we were seeing an influx of these fan trailers and fan films that had filmmakers and actors coming together to give back to the fans. It had taken a long time for both of our schedules to work out, and our mutual friend Alex Lebovici put us in touch in January. I was in Los Angeles for some meetings, and Nate and I sat down for dinner to, really, pitch him this idea that I had for the last several years, and we just took it from there.… I did say to Nathan, “Listen, I’m not proceeding with this if you are not interested whatsoever. Obviously, it’s not to pressure you, I just want you to know that the reason I’m doing it is because I believe in what it represents and what it could be, and I don’t think there is a point in trying to go outside the system and make a fan film if it’s not gonna be with you in that role.”