There’s a solid history of fan-made projects that emulate professional properties. The likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Predator and countless other franchises have generated fan-made productions that can range in quality from deliberately fun but improvised and bootleg to full-on projects that look every bit as good as the real thing. That’s led to some legal quandaries in recent times, especially as the sheer quantity and quality of the material has grown, but generally most copyright owners are fine as long as no money is being made and it doesn’t harm the original’s reputation.
PS4 game franchise Uncharted seems to be the most recent to receive a doff of the pixel’d hat with no less than Nathan Fillion and Stephen Lang with Ernie Reyes Jnr., Geno Segers and Mircea Monroe featuring in the live-action footage that is based around Naughty Dog‘s archaeology-action games, the titles that that have proven a massive earner for the company. It’s unusual for such a fan project to get such professional star-power. However Fillion does have form, having been involved in a very unofficial Green Lantern pitch/short which dates back to pre Ryan Reynolds days when Fillion was actively courting the role.
Allan Ungar directed the impressive Unchartered short. Ungar’s previous projects included the features Gridlocked (also with Lang, alongside Dominic Purcell and Danny Glover) and Tapped Out (with Michael Biehn).
Though the fifteen minutes of footage, which started doing the rounds on the internet in the last day or so after Fillion posted it to his twitter account, has been labelled a ‘fan’ film, the short does feel like something of a pitch for a film or tv pilot rather than a mere vanity project – with the superior standard of cinematography that you’d see in a primetime show (think the NCIS franchise or similar) or even on the big screen.
There has been talk of a big-screen version Nathan Drake and the Uncharted stories, though it seemed the concept was to do a prequel to the older version of Drake with Tom Holland (Spider-man) as the unlikely choice for the teenage version. Fillion himself will next be seen in a new ABC series The Rookie in which he plays a man in his forties who decides to become a police officer after he’s the victim of a crime. He’s met largely with derision by his younger peers, but is determined to prove himself.
Could this short be a pitch for a Nathan Drake show if The Rookie doesn’t work out? We’d pay to see it…