Sony’s decade-long struggle to make the Uncharted video game franchise into a feature film has hit another snag. Director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, Black Mirror) has exited the project, the fifth director to join and subsequently leave the film, according to a report from Deadline.
While Trachtenberg may have moved on, Deadline says actor Tom Holland is still attached to play a young Nathan Drake in the Uncharted prequel-style film. Sony is said to be meeting with directors to keep the project moving.
PlayStation Productions, the movie and television division of Sony set up to adapt video game properties for other media, is now reportedly part of the producing team. PlayStation Productions set up shop earlier this year and is led by Asad Qizilbash, an 11-year veteran of Sony’s PlayStation marketing group, and overseen by Shawn Layden, chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios.
Sony’s Columbia Pictures announced its intention to make an Uncharted movie in the summer of 2009. Back then, director David O. Russell was attached to make the movie with Mark Wahlberg, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci as a justice-dealing family of antiquities experts.
“This idea really turns me on that there’s a family that’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities … [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice,” Russell told the LA Times in 2010.
Since then, Russell has been succeeded by directors Neil Burger, Seth Gordon, Shawn Levy, and Dan Trachtenberg, and the film has burned through a variety of screenwriters and screenplays. Despite those production bumps, Sony announced a release date for Uncharted earlier this year: The film is supposed to hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2020.