Venom director Ruben Fleischer is the frontrunner to direct Sony’s long-gestating Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, reports Deadline.
Fleischer is a trusted face on the Sony lot thanks to Venom, which grossed $856 million worldwide, as well as the Zombieland franchise, which has been a modest hit for the studio. Last year’s sequel scared up $121 million worldwide despite arriving a decade after the first film, which also cleared the $100 million mark. The director bit off more than he could chew with WB’s crime drama Gangster Squad, but that was for a different studio.
Uncharted has been a problem project for Sony, which has cycled through at least a half-dozen directors. The latest to exit was Travis Knight, who coincidentally, lost the Venom 2 gig to Andy Serkis, and blamed his exit on scheduling. The point is, only time will tell whether Fleischer actually gets this project off the ground, or whether it remains stuck in development hell.
Sony had been hoping to shoot Uncharted before the third Spider-Man movie, which will swing into production this summer. The film will be the first from Sony PlayStation Productions, which is slated to produce alongside Chuck Roven, Alex Gartner Avi Arad and Ari Arad.
Rafe Judkins and Iron Man scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote the script, which will follow Uncharted protagonist Nathan Drake as a young man who is just starting to turn into the famed treasure hunter from the beloved Naughty Dog video game series, which has sold over 41 million copies to date.
Before Knight came aboard, the Uncharted movie was poised to be directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane). Other filmmakers who nearly directed Uncharted include Seth Gordon, Neil Burger, David O. Russell and Shawn Levy, so Fleischer is hardly the first to flirt with this material, and frankly, he may not be the last, either. But if I were a betting man, I’d say this one actually sticks, even if the shooting schedule sure sounds tight.