Original Nathan Drake actor Nolan North shares his thoughts on the cast and crew after his visit to set of the Uncharted movie.
Nolan North is a prolific video game voice actor, known for playing iconic roles like Desmond in Assassin’s Creed, David in The Last of Us, Penguin in The Batman Arkham series, and most notably, Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series. North recently had the chance to visit the set of the live-action Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and shared his thoughts about the experience on his “Retro Replay” podcast.
Nolan North began by talking about his experience meeting Tom Holland, who will be taking Nolan North’s role of protagonist Nathan Drake. He talked about his and Holland’s shared love of golf before digressing and actually discussing Holland’s role as Nathan Drake. Of Tom Holland, Nolan says, “he’s not just Spider-Man, he’s an incredible actor.” Nolan says he was impressed, not just with the young actor’s talents, but by his enthusiasm for the original Uncharted games. North says that Holland felt a responsibility to do right by the games because he himself is such a fan of them.
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Last month a photo of Holland’s Nathan Drake costume was released, which many fans appreciated how faithful to the games it is. Some were disappointed perhaps jokingly by Holland’s shirt not being half-tucked in, a look Nathan Drake is known for rocking in the games. According to North, Holland said he tried to maintain his shirt being half-tucked in during shooting, but it frequently came untucked during all the jumping, running, and tumbling required of the role. Nolan North joked that he didn’t face this problem, as the half-tuck was “digital” and wasn’t part of his motion capture suit. Nolan North also noted that, although it wasn’t visible in the released photo, Holland’s costume does include Drake’s iconic belt buckle from the game.
Nolan North also spoke of his experience meeting the rest of the cast, including Mark Wahlberg, who will be playing Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Drake’s mustache-having best friend and mentor. North noted that he is a big fan of Wahlberg’s past work, and thinks he will be great as Sully. He also notes that Sully’s original actor in the video games, Richard McGonagle, is also from Boston, like Wahlberg, and that the two share the same approach to playing the character. North thinks that this same approach will lead to another great portrayal of Sully.
Nolan also says that he saw a woman on set that he didn’t personally recognize but could instantly tell that she was someone playing Chloe Frazer, ally and romantic interest of Nathan Drake. He confirms that 25-year-old actress Sophia Ali is playing Chloe. Ali was confirmed to be a part of the cast back in July, but the role that she is playing has not officially been revealed.
In regards to concerns that Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg won’t be able to fill the shoes of their respective roles, North says that he wants to see new interpretations of the characters, likening it to how many different and unique interpretations of the Batman franchise there are, and says that the movie will feel similarly fresh and unique.
As for the plot of the film, North says that the movie is not necessarily a prequel, nor is it a retelling of any of the plots from the games. He referred to the movie as “Drake: The Early Years,” and says he is glad it is a new story. He says he’d rather it be a new story, citing the old adage that, “comparison is the thief of joy.” North also met director Ruben Fleischer, known for the cult classic Zombieland movies and Venom, and says of his work, “You’re gonna like what he’s delivering, I guarantee it.” Fleischer’s work, along with everyone else’s, is now complete, as the Uncharted film has now finished shooting.
Many fans of the games have voiced concerns that this movie will not be able to live up to the quality of the games, and some even feel it could retroactively tarnish the reputation of the beloved series. Nolan North wants to instill confidence in those who are concerned, saying, “I’m here as your original Nathan Drake to tell ya, give this a chance, cause [from] the little bit that I saw, I think it’s gonna be great.”
The Uncharted movie is currently scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.
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