Nathan Fillion is Nathan Drake – finally – and it’s brilliant (in 15 minute short fan film)

Ever since the first Uncharted game was released and Nathan Drake swaggered onto our screens, fans have clamoured for Nathan Fillion as the perfect casting choice to play him. Even the man himself has been open to it for that long. With an Uncharted movie floundering in development hell and Spider-Man Tom Holland attached to play a younger version of the treasure-hunter/thief in an origin story, it looks like Fillion and his collaborator Director Allan Unger have given Sony a little nudge in their direction. It might be just a “fan service” or as in a telling interview where Fillion admits that “they’ve not pitched a movie to Sony, but if something comes of it then that’s ‘the icing on the cake’ suggests there is more to this than meets the eye.

In much the same way as Ryan Reynolds leaked test footage of his Deadpool and fan frenzy took over, It was inevitable that Deadpool would be made and as it stuck as close to the source material as possible and with very little studio interference in its creation we got the Deadpool the fans wanted.

So, is this the same model that Fillion and Unger have gone for, testing the waters and so forth? If the fan reaction is anything to go by, then that’s a resounding “Yes”. It’s almost perfect. Heck, it is perfect. Not only that, it’s had approval from Uncharted creator Neil Druckmann and the voice and mo-cap actor of Drake himself, Nolan North. If that’s not approval, I don’t know what is.

Many said Fillion would now be too old to play Drake but Tom Cruise is 56 and just knocked out another brilliant action packed Mission Impossible. Fillion is 47 and he has the acting chops to do this.

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Only 15 minutes long but what a 15 minutes. To call it a “fan film” is perhaps underselling it because Unger has two feature films under his belt in Gridlocked and Trapped, so we are in very capable hands.

All the Drake mannerisms are there. The humour is spot on, the voice is almost identical. (Fun fact: Fans actually thought Nathan Fillion voiced Cayde-6 in the E3 Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC trailer when it was actually Nolan North who just happens to be the voice of Nathan Drake in the games. North had actually replaced him due to scheduling conflicts).

The action scenes are great and very funny. One such gag revolves around a beatdown by a guy called El Tigre that has such a great payoff. There is an actual plot. In just 15 minutes they cover Drake’s story, his passion for treasure hunting and then they whet your appetite for a great adventure. Not only that, they managed to get Stephen Lang of Avatar fame to play Sully and whilst Lang wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice, he absolutely nails it as the cigar chomping mentor.

There are so many nods to the game that fans will be overjoyed. The outfit is impeccable complete with ring around the neck while his compass makes an appearance. The cross back holster is also present. There’s the wise-cracking, cockiness and likability of Drake but there’s also a game like puzzle and a moment where you’ll feel like reaching for your controller after a lengthy cutscene.

Drake smashes and tumbles through a window and as he lands the camera spins around and the screen widens to full screen just like the game.

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As the bad guys rush in, the camera zooms in over Drakes’ shoulder as he picks them off. It’s stupendous fan service and it works brilliantly. There’s even a jump and flying punch.

You can also add Elena to the mix. Yes, there’s even time for Drake’s wife in this, played ably by Mircea Monroe. Part of me wants Emily Rose for the part but Monroe would also do a fine job.

Setting this after Uncharted 4 is a smart idea as Fillion is perfect for Drake at this age. Which begs the question do we want a young inexperienced Nathan Drake played by Tom Holland or a seasoned one played by Nathan Fillion. From fan reaction, it’s definitely the latter. Fillion and Unger have stolen a march on Sony with this labour of love. One of the popular ideas is to make this a Netflix or Amazon series. That way Sony can carry on with their movie idea and the fans get the Uncharted they wanted in the meantime. Sony cannot ignore this, though and if they are smart, they’ll be beating a path to the doors of Fillion and Unger with a fistful of empty cheques and a beseeching look that would give Puss and Boots a run for his money.

I for one am totally onboard with Fillion as Drake. Fitting that Nate should be Nate, yes?

Find out what you think, below and let us know.

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