Sony confirms a new 'Uncharted' is on the way — but not the one we want

Mark Wahlberg stars as Victor “Sully” Sullivan and Tom Holland is Nathan Drake — both seen staring out of a helicopter —in Columbia Pictures' UNCHARTED
(Image credit: Clay Enos)

In 2022, Sony's PlayStation Productions brought us their first project: the "Uncharted" movie, a perfectly serviceable (but seriously miscast) adaptation of their barnstorming adventure franchise. 

At the 2024 CineEurope trade show earlier this week, Sony confirmed that the rumored sequel is in the works (as reported by Variety). No, we're not getting another globetrotting PS5 follow-up to the Legacy of Thieves collection. Not yet.

Ahead of a screening of the upcoming rom-com, "Fly Me to the Moon", Sony's president of international distribution Steven O'Dell gave a rundown of the studio's upcoming titles, and "Uncharted" was just one of the many movies referenced. 

The announcement doesn't come as too much of a surprise: back in February, star Mark Wahlberg told Screen Rant he'd been told to 'start growing his mustache' in preparation for the next adventure. Plus, anyone who's seen the first flick will know that it teed up Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and Sully's next adventure.

Details about the "Uncharted" sequel are pretty thin on the ground, but below, I've unpacked how the first movie performed, how the first was received, what "Uncharted 2" might well be about... and why I'm worried the sequel might not work. 

Was the 'Uncharted' movie a success, and will 'Uncharted 2' work?

Uncharted movie

Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake. (Image credit: Sony)

That entirely depends on what kind of success you measure success, really. "Uncharted" certainly wasn't a box office flop; it brought in over $400 million at the box office against a reported $120 million budget. It also proved to be a popular streaming hit, as "Uncharted managed to climb into the Netflix Top 10 when it first hit the service.

If you're measuring success by the movie's reception, though... it wasn't received all that warmly. On the review aggregate site, Rotten Tomatoes, "Uncharted" currently has a critics rating of just 40%, from over 260 reviews. 

As an example of some of the more positive critical reactions, Empire's Nick De Semlyen described the movie as "watchable enough but could have been so much better". Writing for Time Out, Helen O'Hara called it "a passable video game adaptation" and "a welcome break from more serious action movies". 

The audience rating is far higher (90%), but upon sifting through some of the over 5,000 reactions, I saw similar complaints to my own take on "Uncharted". Sure, the movie was interesting enough, but it didn't work too well as an adaptation.  

I was a bit of a franchise latecomer, only coming to the series with The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4. But having been a big adventure movie fan, I was totally down to see how Nate's adventures could be translated to the big screen. 

UNCHARTED - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube UNCHARTED - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube
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I distinctly remember seeing the "Uncharted" movie and thinking the movie's biggest sin was being an unsuccessful adaptation. Taken as just an adventure movie, devoid of the 'Uncharted' identity, I think "Uncharted" legitimately delivers some big-screen thrills, even if they are just cribbed from some of the game's stand-out action set pieces. 

The movie failed, for me, in the character department. Tom Holland's version of Nathan Drake is fine enough, and I think the sequel gives him sufficient room to grow into the cavalier adventurer we all know and love. But Mark Wahlberg's Sully simply didn't feel at all like Nate's much-loved mentor. Their dynamic in "Uncharted" works for the adaptation, but I don't yet get the sense that they're as thick as thieves just yet, nor do they truly feel like the same characters I've grown to love. 

Just a few years ago, 'fine' was a description that movies and shows based on video games would aspire to. But in the wake of projects like "Fallout", "Arcane" and "The Last Of Us", 'fine' isn't going to cut it anymore. We're now in an age where game adaptations know how to translate the tone and aesthetic of a game as well as those TV shows have done, and I think "Uncharted 2" might struggle if it doesn't work harder to draw more from Naughty Dog's games than just their crazy stunts.

Given "Uncharted" recounts Nate and Sully's first gig together, I'm hoping that we'll see the bond they share properly start to come to fruition. Plus, there's certainly room to bring in other characters to bring in more emotion to ground the action and make "Uncharted 2" a proper slice of blockbuster fun. 

What will 'Uncharted 2' be about?

Uncharted movie

Where might Nathan Drake and Sully go next? (Image credit: Sony)

Even before we knew a sequel was coming, we already had an idea of where things might go thanks to the "Uncharted" movie's two post-credit scenes,

One of them took us inside a dank prison complex, showing us a dishevelled-looking figure locked up inside a cell. We cut to a close-up of them writing out a warning on a postcard, telling Nate to watch his back. They sign the postcard 'S', which means this must be his older brother, Sam, right? The same Sam that supposedly died in a shootout with mercenary leader Jo Braddock three years prior to the events of the film. 

Sam Drake's whereabouts are sure to factor into the sequel in some capacity; perhaps the movie will see Sam enlisting the help of a shady individual to escape prison, as he does in Uncharted 4.

The second one sets up Nate and Sully's next steps. Nate is seen making a deal with a new character, Gage (Pilou Asbæk), who works for someone called 'Roman' who is interested in the ring Nate wears as a necklace. The meeting goes south but Sully (now sporting his mustache) comes to Nate's aid. The pair back out of the building having stolen Gage's map, but they're stopped by an unseen figure. 

Given the namedrop, this Roman is likely to be Gabriel Roman, a British treasure collector who pursues Nate and Sully through the Amazon rainforest in search of El Dorado in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Perhaps our intrepid pair will be searching for that mythical city in "Uncharted 2"? We'll have to wait to find out. 

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.