What's Next for Spider-Man After No Way Home?

“My name is Peter Parker. And I… would like a coffee. Please.”

This quote is possibly part of one of the most heartbreaking scenes among the sea of contenders for this title in the movie. If you still haven’t seen No Way Home and have managed to avoid all spoilers until now (in which case I will need to know your secret), then this is where I’ll tell you to skip this article as it will contain MAJOR spoilers. 

The megahit movie united three generations of web slingers as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield returned to reprise their roles and fight alongside Tom Holland. I don’t know about your experience at the cinema, but when I watched it, the cheers were UNBELIEVABLE. The last time I experienced something similar, people we love were walking through portals to help defeat Thanos and his army. Marvel, at this point, has been unbeatable when it comes to connecting the dots and pleasing their fans. 

As impressive as No Way Home was, it left open so many possibilities (even in their usual end credits scene). After saving/curing all the notorious villains from Maguire and Garfield’s Worlds and sending them back, our current Peter (Tom Holland) makes the difficult decision in the final battle, asking Doctor Strange to cast the spell that makes everyone forget about him. It’s the only spell that can stop even more Spider-Man villains from coming through from other Universes. It’s the biggest sacrifice that Tom Holland’s Spidey has ever made. The spell is cast after the incredibly emotional goodbye from his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his love MJ (Zendaya). The world forgets who Peter Parker is. 

On top of that, they show our beloved Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). He spent the entire runtime of the movie getting drunk and listening to the history of the Avengers, up until he is transported back to his own Universe. The only thing he leaves behind is a tiny piece from his symbiote friend Venom. 

Now, let’s jump to those questions we all have. 

Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire recreating the famous pointing meme
  1. What happens in Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Universes now that all their enemies have been turned back and changed for the better?

All the reappearing villains, aka Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and Lizard (Rhys Ifans), have been fixed. Thanks to the technology that enabled the three Peter Parkers to cure what caused these people’s villainous turn, they’re no longer evil. When Doctor Strange casts the spell, they are all transported back into their Universes along with their Peter… but they had all died in their original timeline. Will we ever see what happens after they all get back home? It all must have caused a bit of mayhem. 

Going by the logic and the memories that the Peters have, we can safely assume that they were transported after the events of their final movies. In Tobey Maguire’s Universe, Norman Osborn’s son, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is dead. He sacrificed himself to save his best friend. I can’t help but wonder that even with Dafoe’s character being free from the Green Goblin, he probably wouldn’t react well to the death of his son. Could it possibly bring a new conflict into Spider-Man’s life? And although Otto Octavius didn’t have the famous beef with Norman Osborn in Spider-Man 2, there were implications of it in No Way Home? Could it return in a possible Spider-Man 4 movie? 

If we look at the Andrew Garfield movies, the resurrection of Dr. Curtis Connors and Max Dillon should not cause too much mayhem. Possibly.

BUT!

What if bringing them back changes everything in both Universes, resulting in more returning characters? For Tobey, it might mean that Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) and Harry Osborn could very possibly return along with Otto’s wife, Rosalie Octavius (Donna Murphy). With the change of their characters in mind and how Doctor Strange emphasized that we know frighteningly little about the Multiverse, I think it would be possible that resurrecting their foes could rewrite their timelines. This could also mean the most significant return of all: Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

This is actually something many have brought up. Although Andrew Garfield is once again denying all the rumors, in the event of a ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3’ movie, Gwen Stacy could return as Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman. It would definitely be something interesting to see. 

Tom Holland in No Way Home
  1. What happens to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker now that everyone has forgotten who he once was?

Although not yet confirmed, there are indications of another Tom Holland-led trilogy that would be sorely needed in light of all that happened in No Way Home

With Marvel being dead set on destroying my soul last year with WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, What If…?, and Hawkeye, in particular. I think out of all the titles, Spider-Man hit the hardest. 

I thought that Aunt May’s death would be the worst, but nope…it’s the scene where Peter goes into MJ’s workplace while practicing what he will say to her beforehand. After seeing his best friend and love excited about University, he decides that they are better off without him. Tears… instantly. And then he goes to Aunt May’s grave, and once I realized that it doesn’t say loving aunt… I felt my heart break a little bit. But that wasn’t enough for Marvel. No! They had to make sure we understood that EVERYONE forgot about Peter. Happy (Jon Favreau) then shows up next to him and asks him how he knew Aunt May. 

Peter at Aunt May’s grave

Peter is then seen in a new suit he created, and it’s clear that he no longer has access to Stark tech. He becomes our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man once more. 

A new trilogy may not be confirmed yet.  Still, we know that Holland’s Spider-Man is bound to have another appearance in a Marvel property. Many are guessing that it will be in the Multiverse of Madness, and of course, it would make sense to have him team up with Strange again. However, there’s no sign of that in Marvel’s trailers so far. I guess it’s better in a way, as I would rather be surprised.

However, as many eagle-eyed fans pointed out, some clues are already hidden in the Multiverse of Madness trailers. After the events of Westview, it certainly seems like Wanda used the witch runes to live in her own bubble away from the world that already caused her so much pain. If that turns out to be true, it means that she is the only one in the world who wasn’t affected by the spell Doctor Strange cast in No Way Home. This would, therefore, also mean that she is the only one who remembers that Peter is Spider-Man. Her famous line from the trailers that got picked up by fans also seems to be pointing towards this theory:

“You break the rules and become a hero. I do it, and I become the enemy. It doesn’t seem fair.”

And let’s not forget; People forgot that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but they didn’t forget about Spider-Man himself. 

Peter’s new suit at the end of No Way Home

One of Spider-Man’s biggest enemies made his big-screen debut in April: Morbius is played by Jared Leto in the adaptation. Its first trailer sparked debates as a familiar face showed up: Adrian Toomes, The Vulture (Michael Keaton). We first met Adrian in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he hasn’t been seen since. His storyline in Morbius is no longer a secret; thanks to Doctor Strange’s spell, he gets transported into the living vampire’s universe. In the film’s post-credit scene, he shares with Morbius that he believes that Spider-Man is responsible for his new home. It is very interesting to note that a lot of Adrian’s scenes we’ve seen in the Morbius trailer weren't even in the final movie. It certainly seems like they changed his whole involvement according to the events of No Way Home. Let’s not forget that Morbius was originally supposed to come out BEFORE No Way Home.

Could this mean that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will have to fight one of these famous enemies? 

Why else is it likely that another three Tom Holland-led films will arrive? 

Venom (Tom Hardy) first sees Spider-Man at the end of Let There Be Carnage

Venom. 

Here’s what I think Marvel is doing. I believe there is more to why they didn’t let this new version of Venom have a larger role in No Way Home. The obvious one is that all the villains are connected to either Garfield or Maguire, while Tom Hardy’s Venom doesn’t have his own counterpart. But I think it’s also because of the nature of this Venom/Eddie Brock combo. With Tom Hardy’s take on this character, they seem to be building up more of an antihero instead of the famous enemy of Spider-Man. I believe that leaving the tiny piece of Venom behind in the post-credit scene will be  significant in the following movie, and we will get a completely new version of Venom in Holland’s Universe. A Venom who can be the villain we all know. They can have Tom Hardy reprise the role again or get someone new to play a different version of Eddie. Many would love to see Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man have a go at Tom Hardy’s Venom, and to be fair… I would too.

  1. Will we see this team-up of Spider-men again? 

Holland, Maguire, and Garfield had such fantastic chemistry that one can’t help but wonder if we will ever see them again on the big screen? Once again, with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness in mind, Marvel is only just getting started introducing us to their vast Multiverse. I don’t think anyone would be against seeing them team up together. Maybe… just maybe… it doesn’t even have to be live-action? Tom Holland previously mentioned that he would have loved to be a part of Into the Spider-Verse. Even the title itself holds a possibility for these three versions of Peter Parker appearing. Who knows? It would be fun, and it might be closer to happening than we think. 

The famous hug. Will we see them team up again?

So far, no announcements have been made about anything like that happening. I personally hope it will happen again. It was such an indescribable joy seeing them together on the big screen that I felt like a kid again. At the end of the day, that’s what cinema and storytelling are all about. We connect to these characters, love them, look at them as our friends, and we are happy whenever we get to see them again. No Way Home achieved more than we initially thought it could, so I will say this as a closing thought: whatever they decide to do with Spider-Man next, we are fortunate with what we already have. 

What are your predictions for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Let me know in the comments!

Two Uncharted Virgins Go See What All The Fuss Is About

My partner, Hoot, and I have an amazing group of friends who we met through our mutual love of Nolan North. For us two Xbox and PC geeks, that love came from Nolan's performances in Assassin's Creed, Destiny, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Con Man. But for most of our other friends, that love first came from Uncharted. 

When all your friends assume that Uncharted is something everyone "just knows," there's a twinge of that old childhood feeling of being an outcast. So, three years ago, I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and grabbed the Nathan Drake Collection to see what all the fuss is about. I got about two thirds into the first game (Drake's Fortune)… and then stopped. I felt like I was just playing my beloved Assassin's Creed, but with a different premise, a different controller, and a less compelling backstory. I just wasn't feeling all the hype that my friends felt. I'd rather be organizing my sock drawer than making the 30th attempt to drive that fucking Jet Ski through a firing range on Easy mode! So I took a break from it and went back to games I was enjoying more.

I apparently wasn't alone in my frustrations. I found this screenshot in an article about bad levels in gaming history.

Not long after that, the Uncharted movie was announced with Mark Wahlberg, who I have adored for years, and Tom Holland, who turns everything into gold these days. I knew I was going to watch this movie because they were in it. But I also knew my opinions of the film would probably be very different from our Uncharted nerd friends.

Hoot and I saw the movie late on opening weekend knowing or remembering very little about the characters and their game stories. Unlike the game, I got through all of it and loved it! It's a lot of fun! It had a good pace, fun dialog, good chemistry between the protagonists (Nate and Sully), and action sequences that hit all the right notes. Plus, after seeing Pilou Asbæk playing another baddie in the post-credit scene, I was on-board for another chapter! 

That said, Hoot and I talked a lot about the film's obvious head-scratchers when it comes to basic physics. That backpack full of gold, even if it was a small 10-liter pack, would weigh around 425 pounds! (Damn, Sully must be ripped!) And whose hair looks that good two minutes after you've been drowning? (Chloe clearly has magic hair.) But when we let go of those little reality breaks, it's an enjoyable ride start to finish!

Nolan North and Tom Holland on the set of Uncharted

Favorite moment? Nolan's cameo, of course! Perfection! I think some folks next to us in the theater recognized him, too.

Nate and Sully were the only characters I remembered from the short time playing that first game, plus Elena who wasn't in this film. I loved seeing this story of how Nate and Sully came to know each other and work together. I bought every second of their story and really enjoyed their dialog. Knowing their backstory now honestly makes me want to go back and at least finish the stories in the games (or just find all the cutscenes on YouTube).

So yeah, Uncharted is a fun film that's on par with classic adventures from my childhood like the first three Indiana Jones films and The Goonies. And if you didn't get the obvious tributes to those films, you were probably too busy looking for all the game references, instead. 

For perspectives from some long-time Uncharted fans, check out what Lily K and Maria Kinnun said about the film.

Any fellow Uncharted game virgins or near-virgins out there? What did YOU think of the Uncharted movie?

Uncharted Deserves A Better Movie And So Do We

Now that the dust has settled from Nathan Drake destroying ancient discoveries around the world in the latest Uncharted movie, I have some thoughts and opinions on this newest entry into the franchise. 

Now I am a BIG fan of the games. When I heard this movie was in development, well, I…rolled my eyes. Video game movies are notorious for being mediocre cash grabs at established franchises. They often end up taking a big name and compressing them in bite-sized, easy-to-digest, forgettable popcorn movies. With a game as narratively epic as Uncharted, the standard was high. As I think more about this, there was already an amazing story in place with deep characters established. All you needed was the right casting and real love for the franchise to bring all that to our screens. A short fan-made Uncharted movie starring Nathan Fillion managed to capture the feel of the games in 15 minutes and sent the fanbase wanting THAT movie. And why? Because it felt like Uncharted. For me, this movie did not. 

Without the branding, the Uncharted movie could have been The Mummy Begins Again or Indiana Jones: The Baby Faced years. I read advice to not compare the movie to the games. To take a step back from the games and go into this movie with no expectations. I tried that, but it didn’t feel right. This is the franchise I love, and I wanted to be invested in every detail. I tried to not compare the movie to the games, but it felt impossible. It’s a movie made from the game, just like the Harry Potter movies were made from novels. I wanted to see this movie because it was Uncharted. Because it was an extension of the franchise I love. 

I don’t feel like it's fair for the fans to have to forget the games to enjoy a movie made from those games. Without the fans' making these games a HUGE global success, these games wouldn’t be considered for movies. Honestly, if too much fan knowledge will ruin a movie, then the movie doesn’t have the fans’ best interests at heart. 

Is that Sully and Nate on an adventure?

The Uncharted movie added enough references taken directly from the games to remind us that this was Uncharted but left out or changed enough to make it a different thing under the same name. Character origins and how they met were altered as well as the timeline for some of the events. Some of Nate’s backstory was changed as well as the story of how Sully and Nate came to be. Sully’s partnership with Nate felt more like a buddy cop movie than the iconic father and son dynamic. I understand their relationship has room to develop in possible sequels. Still, I honestly feel the road with these two will stay the same with constant back and forth banter to keep the comedy going. I felt Chloe was downgraded from her savvy, independent, and hardheaded demeanor to more of an opportunistic sidekick. Nate was okay, although I felt he kinda became Tom Holland. This isn’t terrible as Tom Holland is a very likable character. But I still wasn’t entirely convinced that he was Nathan Drake. 

The movie lacked depth. Characters never really delved into their new backstories. There were no extended treks to get to places detached from civilization. You know, to places that are Uncharted. There was no real deep dive into history, with Nate adorably geeking over a discovery or the feeling that the treasure was hidden anywhere but an easily reachable location. 

Overall, the actors gave energetic performances but they never really evolved to embody the characters. Instead, I felt the characters were adapted too much to suit the actors, and we lost a lot of the character’s identities in the process. 

Uncharted felt more like a kids' family movie with balls to the wall action and minimal violence and risk. It was wholely focused on fun, fun, fun! With a lot of over-the-top, crazy action that was very Uncharted! I felt the movie relied too much on the jokes that kept the movie light but removed the sense that the team was ever in any real danger. Uncharted (the game) has its naturally funny moments with snarkiness to keep the mood upbeat. Still, Uncharted is a grown-up story about the characters and their conflicts between finding fortune and what it risks. 

Perhaps some of the characteristics of Uncharted were lost because they chose to take the direction of a younger Nate learning the ropes. I’m okay with this angle, but I fear Nate will always be portrayed as the bumbling youngster in this movie series. While this is cute and endearing, that is not the character Nate is. Nate is smart, cunning, streetwise, and full of snark. I know movie Nate has room to grow in sequels into this tougher version, but I feel the movies will just maintain the way in over his head direction for the entertainment value. I also fear that we aren’t going to see that beautiful grown-up relationship between Nate and Elena that was the cornerstone of the franchise. If we do, it's going to be cute young love full of jokes and one-liners. Not the badass, straight-talking Elena telling Nate to get his shit together.

Maybe Uncharted is just one of those games that is just too big for a 2-hour film. I definitely don’t want a one-on-one recreation of the game but a movie that felt more faithful to the franchise. A movie a little more grown-up and slowed-down like an Indiana Jones or Goonies focusing more on the characters and adventure instead of fast-paced action! I understand the movie was a new take on the story and a step to bring Uncharted to a new audience, but if you remove the things that gave the franchise its character, you are removing its heart and leaving it empty.

Maybe video game to TV show adaptation is the way to go now with fewer restrictions on time so the story can be fleshed out and told to the depth it needs to be. The new Halo and the HBO The Last of Us are certainly looking more promising. Maybe Uncharted might be better as a TV series? 

Going to places Uncharted

As far as video game adaptations go, Uncharted was one of the better ones I have seen. I don’t in any way feel like the movie shouldn’t have been made. It is an entertaining, action packed, fun to watch movie that may shed light on the franchise and bring new fans to the games. I appreciated the nods to the games and the little Easter Eggs but unfortunately, I don’t feel like the movie did the games series justice. Like many other video game adaptations movies, I felt the Uncharted movie adapted too much to accommodate a newer audience but failed to capture the heart of the franchise that the fans of the games love. Maybe sequels will show me otherwise.

Yes, I am biased. My refusal to separate the games from the movie was probably my downfall. But my conflict is just a testament to how much I love this series and how much love and respect I have for the amazing cast and crew behind the games. I feel Uncharted deserved better. That being said, the movie is good. Go see it and have fun! The games, on the other hand, are legendary and are still number one in my heart.

What did you think of the Uncharted movie? An epic addition or misadventure? Let us know down below.

Well, Well, Well, The Uncharted Movie Has Arrived and It's… Alright?

As a massive Uncharted fan, the day they announced the movie, I immediately went into panic mode. Why? Well, let’s be honest here. There aren’t many actually GOOD video game movies out there.  So the fact that the people behind this film wanted to turn these already incredibly cinematic games into movies that were basically very long films by themselves—it definitely scared me. How will they translate more than 20 hours long game runs? Who will they cast? Which game will they adapt? I mean, there are 4 main Uncharted games about Nathan Drake out there.

Now that we have all the answers to all these questions, it's time to review the final result that seems to be dividing critics and fans as the movie has a 39% Rotten Tomatoes score from the critics but a high 90% from the fans. Who’s right? Warning, this is going to be a treasure trove of SPOILERS! 

I have to go all the way back to the marketing campaign. It was brilliant, and it definitely helped me adjust my expectations. The behind-the-scenes look with Neil Druckmann and Tom Holland talking about the movie’s take on the game was key. They assured us that this is their own spin on the story of the games, and we won’t be getting a word-for-word adaptation. That helped me keep an open mind about the film. Adding to that was Nolan North’s honest support from the beginning: if Nathan Drake himself says it’s gonna be good, you should listen to the man. 

And here’s the thing… It is a really fun ride from beginning to end.

Tom Holland as Nathan Drake

It was a great choice not to adapt one specific story from the games but, instead, put together their own origin story for Holland’s Drake. I'm also a hardcore fan of seeing familiar things referenced in new stories, like the orphanage from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End along with Sam and Nate’s beginnings. Even though I originally hated that Mark Wahlberg’s Sully didn’t have a mustache, the feeling disappeared pretty quickly, seeing the chemistry between him and Tom Holland is one of the bright spots of the film.

Hold up! Before I get too deep into the good stuff, let me do a run-through of things that weren’t great at all. And I will start with the one that bothers me immensely. 

Here's what I didn't like in the movie. 

Chloe Frazer. It wasn’t her. Simple as that. No hate towards the actress at all (Sophia Ali) who tried her best, but this role definitely wasn’t for her. What annoyed me the most is that they downgraded Chloe’s character (and Sully’s for that matter) in order to make Nate appear smarter. In the game franchise, Chloe is just as knowledgeable as Nate. In this film, though, she barely adds anything to the actual treasure hunt. She feels like a tag along character, it’s always Nate who figures things out, there’s only one or two instances where she adds anything to solve the puzzle and it’s the tiniest bit. She was there, sure. She did things, yes.

But it was nowhere near to the badass, smart, witty, great con artist she is in the games. I missed her remarks towards Nate. She radiated confidence in the games, but here I didn’t feel any of that. Most importantly she didn’t have any chemistry at all with Nate or Sully. As much as you could feel it between Wahlberg and Holland it was basically non-existent between her and the others. The only thing that really felt like the Chloe we have come to love from the games is her ability to play both sides of the conflict for her personal gain. She's a chaotic neutral character so it's great to see that come to life in the film as well. 

Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer

Chloe is one of my all-time favorite video game characters, and I’ve found my way into cosplaying through that character. Therefore not really seeing the tiniest bit of resemblance (even in the clothes or hair like they did with Nate) was very disappointing. Moving forward, the writers need to really flesh her out more when it comes to her in possible future films for me to be able to say ‘Yes, this is it.’ But, to be fully honest, based on this movie I also don’t think that Sophia Ali can bring the whole energy and aura that Chloe has.

The "enemies" of the story, Antonio Banderas’ Santiago Moncada and Tati Gabrielle’s Braddock, were both incredibly underdeveloped, probably because of the small amount of time they had to fit them in. This is another disadvantage that watching a movie has compared to playing a game. All the villainous characters from the games were memorable, but not just because they were formidable (Braddock in the movie), but also because we had the time to get to know their motives and them a lot better. The backstory to the Moncada family could be fully left out in this film and it wouldn’t affect anything in the story. In fact, his whole character could be scrapped out entirely streamlining the runtime and giving the more interesting villain more screen time. Speaking of, the character Braddock is giving off some serious Nadine Ross vibes (a mercenary in Uncharted 4). Her introduction in the film has similarities to Nadine’s story arc in the fourth game and even her position as a mercenary leader. But we barely got to know her at all. Although they hinted at her connection to Sully multiple times it was never entirely clear what happened between them.

Now back to the good things. 

First up: Nathan Drake. I can say with a big smile on my face that Tom Holland was an excellent choice. It is so obvious throughout the entire movie that he loves playing Nate, and that warmed my heart. During the fight scenes or when they are on the actual treasure hunt itself, you could just feel it on his every move and the way his face lit up. I loved how they built him up from a petty thief to the treasure hunter who we all love so much. Smart-mouth all around, a bit clumsy sometimes—it was his first time running after treasure after all. He really did a kickass job with the character. Although they changed Nate’s origin story (he didn’t escape from the orphanage with Sam, his whole introduction to Sully is different) but I can see his Nathan Drake turn into Nolan North’s (Uncharted game series) wise cracking older Drake in future installments. 

Sully (Mark Wahlberg) and Nate (Tom Holland) on a 16th century ship.
Sully (Mark Wahlberg) and Nate (Tom Holland) work together to protect the treasure.

Next, Sully got “upgraded.” He is more involved in the action, but of course that’s because he is much younger in the film vs the games where he is quite a bit older. I thought that Wahlberg was pretty fun in the role and really made a great team with Tom Holland. The creators were onto something when they paired them up. In the games, Sully’s character wasn’t as knowledgeable as Nate, Chloe, or Sam, but he definitely knew his way around and picked up on things really quickly. Even though Sully in the movie started out a bit cold-hearted and selfish, the writers slowly built him up to be the character we all love. He begins to care about Nate and even a cat that becomes a recurring joke throughout the film.Through this, I was once again reminded that this is an origin story for both us game fans and for those who knew nothing about the games beforehand.

I also absolutely adored that they choose to open the movie in a similar manner to the second and the fourth game where we get a glimpse into the trouble that our hero gets into later on in the story. It all starts with the scene we already saw in the trailers, the whole falling out of the plane with the crates bit, timeline-wise it happens closer to the climax. That’s exactly how they opened Uncharted 2 where Nate wakes up in a train that’s hanging down from the edge of the cliff. Uncharted 4 opens with Nate and Sam on the sea trying to get away from the mercenaries chasing them. Such a good callback. There were a lot of callbacks like that along the way. Some made me smile, others made me straight-up giggle. There was even one where I literally gasped and laughed at the same time. Lagasped? I don’t know, but I do know that my loud reaction came as a surprise to all the fellow people in the cinema. 

Nolan North talking to Tom Holland on the set of Uncharted.
Nolan North talking to Tom Holland on the set of Uncharted.

And, of course, Nolan's cameo in the movie is no longer a secret. I don’t even know if it was secret to begin with: I think we all expected it since cameos in movies from the original actors are pretty common (Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street, David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser in Starsky and Hutch etc.), and Tom Holland obviously “spoiled” it during his Jacksepticeye video appearance. If there were other people in the cinema with me who played the games, they either didn’t recognize Nolan or were very quiet about it. What it confirmed for me is how many people watch these movies without knowing anything about the games. 

The action throughout the movie was spectacular, and it was very clear that they put all they had into those sequences. It didn’t just come out as fun but also extremely exciting. A big highlight was the part where Nathan and Sully fight together in the end, it was the peak of their chemistry, and it made the movie even more enjoyable.I loved how it was the first time they fought side to side and they were able to help each other, the whole choreography of the scene added so much to it.  

The treasure hunting parts themselves were also well done, even if the puzzles got solved a bit too quickly to my liking and didn’t really come close to what we experience in the games. What I mean here is the secret entrances to tombs or hidden temples that no one has ever been in, but our main characters run through them like it’s nothing, figuring stuff out almost without a problem. Sure, this is the result of the time limit they have when it comes to movies. I also think that it is a common problem when it comes to movies like this. 

Sully and Nate walk through an old church following the next clue in their treasure hunt. Nate shines a flashlight on the wall.
The treasure hunt begins.

All together, what we got is a very fun movie that pulls away enough from the game to be different but definitely keeps important details enough to feel familiar to the fans. It was a welcome surprise how much I actually liked it, and it is easily among the better game adaptations I’ve seen so far. Then again, given the part about movies that were based on games, this wasn't a hard trophy to earn. There’s an after-credits scene where the filmmakers open the door for even more live-action adventures for Nate and Sully. The movie already made $44,155,000 on opening weekend in the US so we can most likely expect news of a second movie, which I honestly wouldn’t mind at all. 

And don't forget: Sic Parvis Magna - Great things from small beginnings. Alright, my fellow Uncharted game fans, have you seen the Uncharted movie yet? What were your impressions? Let's get out those good and bad reactions in the comments!

Pop-Culture Predictions #1

Hi, I'm Drew, a big nerd who happens to run a hybrid marketing and production company. I lead content and brand strategy and use data to build insights that inform our clients' business decisions. In this weekly series, I'm going to pick a couple of pop-culture IPs and make a bold prediction based on past experience, real-time data, and a boatload of moxie. Here we go...

Prediction - The Uncharted movie will underperform in ticket sales.

I want to be wrong here. I'm a big fan of the games, and I think the world could use a fun, light-hearted adventure film. But no one is talking about Uncharted online, and it looks like it is destined to underperform. Take Tom Holland's last tentpole film Spider-Man: No Way Home. If you do just a simple Google Trends analysis on searches for Spider-Man vs. Uncharted, the differences are striking. Uncharted is basically flatline compared to Spider-Man. Even at its highest search peak in October (see chart below), Uncharted still didn't match Spider-Man. More surprising is that even after the Uncharted trailer drop, the peak is still lower than October's search. Interest seems to be going down, not skyrocketing up as Spider-Man clearly did when that film launched.

According to the New York Times, the Uncharted movie reportedly cost $120 million to make. So this needs an opening weekend of over $90 million and have enough legs overseas to warrant a sequel. In comparison, before No Way Home's insane $260 million opening haul, Venom had the highest pandemic opening weekend at $90.1 million.

Uncharted Interest vs Spider-Man Interest over the last 5 years

Bottom Line: Uncharted needs an incredible marketing push in these last few weeks to drive an insane amount of buzz towards this film to drive people to theaters. Otherwise, I suspect people are Tom Holland-ed out and are willing to wait till this hits the streaming services in 90 days.

Prediction - God of War Ragnarök will not release in 2022.

God of War Ragnarök was originally announced to be released in 2021 (note, it wasn't) and is now rumored to be releasing in September of 2022. Let me be clear: there is no way this game comes out in 2022. COVID variants will continue to plow through the vaccinated and non-vaccinated developers who will need to take weeks off to recover, slowing the production of these AAA game titles down to a crawl. The good news is this can often lead to a slower pace and better working environment for devs and writers alike. It will likely be pushed from September to late November before finally letting everyone know that this will be a March 2023 release. Overall, more than 40 games were delayed last year. Here's a quick list of some of the bigger games that got delayed in 2021:

Bottom Line: COVID isn't going away, and, for the foreseeable future, it will continue to have a tremendous effect on game studios' ability to deliver on their promised launch windows.

Prediction - Xbox will sell more consoles than PlayStation in 2022.

Sorry, Sony, but this next generation might belong to Microsoft. I personally believe that Sony, and specifically PlayStation, makes better hardware that plays nice with more developers. But Xbox understands gamers better. Their Game Pass is a far superior fishing lure to get gamers to switch to Xbox and stay there, with constant access to new games for no extra cost. Couple that with the smart pricing structure on the elite Series X and the cheaper Series S console, and it looks like Xbox might have a winner on its hands. You can see in the chart below that in the last 12 months more people in the US have searched for Xbox over PlayStation by a large margin, especially during the holiday season. The big X-factor here (pun intended) is the global chip shortages and Microsoft's ability to get their next-gen consoles into people's homes faster. The demand is there for both platforms, but the delays in availability may make people choose to buy whichever next-gen console is available once they've got the saved up cash to buy.

Search interest of Playstation vs Xbox over the last 12 months.

Bottom Line: Halo Infinite, Xbox Game Pass, Smart Pricing, and better advertising are clearly winning the day for Microsoft and Xbox in terms of interest but supply issues may make this a closer race than it appears.

I'll be back every few weeks with some more predictions. The value of a prediction is not accuracy (though it is better to be right than wrong), but the reasoning and conversation that the prediction catalyzes. Let me know if you think I'm right or wrong in the comments below!

The Uncharted Cargo Plane Fight Scene Released

Like it or not the Uncharted movie is happening and it's using an action set piece right out of the Uncharted video game series the film is based on. Sony decided to just go ahead and release the whole cargo plane fight scene since most fans have played that scene several times in the third game and the trailers released so far pretty much spoiled the scene already as well. Take a look for yourself...

For reference here's the cargo plane scene from the game narrated by Nolan North (the actor and voice of Nathan Drake in the games) and Amy Hennig (the creator and game director of Uncharted 1 - 3).

In comparison to the game, you can see the film has changed this scene's beats quite a bit. Right away we see that Drake is in a tight spot and needs to cause a scene. So he does what Drake does and pulls the cargo ripcord. Then Mark Wahlberg (Sully) parachutes off the plane right when Drake pulls the cargo cord. Which seems odd out of context. Didn't Sully see that Drake wasn't wearing a parachute? Why would he bail on his buddy Drake?

After that moment we see some nice flips and a lucky escape from Drake before he's pulled out of the cargo plane with his foot caught in a box net. Here's where the film starts to depart from the game not only in action beats but in world psychics. In the game, you can see Drake really struggling to hold on to the cargo nets. In fact, his feet are blowing upwards from the wind speed. It looks and feels like it would be pretty difficult to climb back in the plane. The movie scene on the other hand feels like it was shot on a green screen with a mild wind machine. The fact that Drake is able to leap upside down from one crate to another is probably impossible in this situation. Unless... due to the wind displacement from the rear of the plane causes the wind to go around the crates. I'm not an aerospace engineer but I doubt this is the case but maybe there's someone who can set the record straight here.

This scene is still a lot of fun and we get to see Chloe be the badass we know her to be and likely will save Drake and Sully's ass more than once in this film. My hope is that this scene was edited down for this clip a bit. Not only does it feel a bit all over the place in pacing, but there are also moments that are in the earlier trailers that are not in this edit. Which doesn't mean much since trailer scenes don't always make the film's final cut but I do hope the scene is longer in the film and there is an edit that shows the bad guys climbing out on the cargo crates vs just appearing out of nowhere in the current edit now.

Uncharted comes out exclusively in movie theaters February 18th. Despite my nitpicks, I'll be there with bells on to see this in the biggest loudest theater I can find.

What do y'all think of this cargo plane clip they released? Did it make you more excited or are you still on the fence?

Uncharted Movie Trailer 2 Breakdown

Sony and Playstation dropped a longer second Uncharted movie trailer that gives us a LOT more footage, one-liners, crazy action set pieces, and wait for it... a Sully mustache! Sony clearly hoping this will quell fans' fervor over the Mark Wahlberg casting as Victor Sullivan. If you haven't seen the trailer yet check it out below then let's break it all down.

Overall this trailer gives away WAY too much. There's a lot in here that I would've loved to be surprised by. The first Teaser Trailer that dropped did a much better job at getting fans and newcomers a taste of what's to come. The teaser also had a needle drop from Led Zeplin that gave it a bit more panache. Let's go through it scene by scene.

We've seen this scene from the Teaser Trailer. Based on the banter this is how Sully and Nate meet but there's a good chance Sully's had his eye on Nathan Drake for a while from afar and now's the time to bring Nate into the life of adventure.

It's not an Uncharted film unless we get a bit of a history lesson. Here we see some foreshadowing on the lost Magellan ships that Nate and Sully will be looking for along with a brief write-up in the pages about the 5 ships and 270 men Magellan set sail with but lost 4 of the 5 ships and only 18 men survived his journey. Feel free to zoom in or hit the Wikipedia page for how the ships were lost.

Nate looks around what's probably either Victor Sullivan's room or Antonio Banderas character (Moncada?) study both of whom are obsessed with finding the lost Magellan treasure (5 billion dollars worth of treasure we learn in dialogue). Really digging the set design and lighting here.

This is where things get interesting. An old Carrack class ship rising out of the water. I'm not seeing any floats or wires attached to the boat. So unless this is channeling some supernatural Pirates of the Caribbean ghost ship themes this is a bit of a mystery on how this ship is doing this. If you have theories post them in the comments. The next shot we even see the tattered sail unfurl but by who...possible flashback?

It's Antonio Banderas storytime. Narrating the first part of the trailer is the sexy Banderas voice, giving us the history lesson on the lost treasure. "500 years ago my family found the world's biggest fortune...then was betrayed." "So much blood" Sounds like either Moncada is a Magellan ancestor or more likely was a crewman on one of the ships Magellan led and was betrayed by Magellan because you know...greed.

Puzzle-solving time. There is a lot of footage out of order here and it's pretty obvious. This is clearly later in the film after they've stolen the cross and found the map that gives them the clear where the treasure is buried. Nice shot though.

Giving off some strong UC3 and UC4 game vibes as well as a bit of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade... all clues are hidden in old churches. This looks like Nate (Tom Holland), Sully (Mark Wahlberg), and Chloe (played by Sophia Taylor Ali).

Yay! Uncharted puzzle! Although this one doesn't seem really complicated like the ones found in the games. Turn clockwise isn't exactly clever. They make a joke about it to put a pin on the idea that this puzzle and booby trap is kinda lame. It's not that funny and Nate kinda comes off less witty and funny and a little too serious. I guess he was more serious when he was younger? This sequence takes place after they steal the cross from Moncada and most likely this opens up a passage into the underbelly of the church where the real prize lies...probably a map.

Here we are tomb raiding with Nate and Chloe. I'm guessing this is below the church from the previous shot. Chloe looks like she's having a blast while Nate again seems frustrated. If they do make Nate the straight edge to Chloe and Sully's comedy that will be a huge character departure from the games.

The hero and villain meet. Pulled right from Uncharted 4 there is an auction going on and both Nate and Sully and Moncada want the jeweled cross and Sully bids on the cross while Nate distracts everyone so they can steal the cross under everyone's noses. "This cross has a very tragic history. So much blood." Moncada warns Nate here.

Nate is good at distracting people by using his inhuman ability to climb and swing from things while escaping from security. To be fair his line "This is gonna suck." followed by "ahhhh" are pretty much want I expect Drake to say before leaping off a balcony and swinging on a light chandelier.

No surprise here. Nate and Sully swipe the cross and Sully's using it as a teaching lesson. This is likely pretty early on in the film soon after Nate and Sully team up. The cross is the first piece of the puzzle.

The famous plane sequence from Uncharted 3 video game is again shown briefly here. There's more footage in the teaser trailer. While some don't like that this looks shot for shot the same as the game even the car gag at the end knocking him off the plane after working really hard to climb his way back in. I for one am excited to see it come to life in live-action. It's one of the best set pieces from all the Uncharted games and it's no surprise why they wanted to use it for the film. It's going to be awesome.

Another moment that feels like it's pulled right from the games is Nate driving this speed boat across the blue Caribbean waters that are a big part of Uncharted 4's gameplay. It's another beautiful shot and we see Nate is alone here and not with either Sully or Chloe. This is likely after the plane sequence and Nate has to catch up with the bad guys and hopes that Sully and Chloe stay out of trouble before he arrives to save the day.

He's our first look at what's probably Nate's apt. (that lighting is on point. Even if the film's story isn't good. This movie looks great.) He's opening a chest full of memories including some photos of wait for it...

Here's our first look at Sam Drake, Nathan Drake's lost and assumed dead (in the games) brother. Does anyone know who this actor is? Surprising that they showed his face in the trailer let alone the film. I assumed Sam would show up as an end-credit scene in a Spanish prison setting up the next film. Will this actor play a slightly older Sam in the movie? Or will they cast someone else? Does Sam show up in the 3rd act of the film? Lost of questions still to be answered here but I do like from the get-go that Sam is a big part of Nate's motivation to find this treasure and probably has a lot to do with the choices he has made leading up to now.

The ring! Sic Parvis Magna is inscribed on Sir Francis Drake's ring which roughly translates to "Greatness from small beginnings." In the games, Nathan is obsessed with Francis Drake and takes his last name.

Chloe doing what Chloe does. The doublecross, which usually ends up being triplecross. She's arguably the most interesting Uncharted character as she isn't as wholesome as Drake and Sully but often teams up with the bad guys if it helps her achieve her goals. Here we can assume she's stealing the map from Drake in the church tomb.

Looks like Nate and Chloe get close on this adventure which makes sense in the narrative of the games. In Uncharted 2 we get the sense that before Drake meets his eventual wife Elena, that they had a pretty intimate relationship. It's actually nice to see this dance shot here as most of the clips seem related to a heist, or action piece. I'd really dig it if this film slowed down a minute to really get to know our characters a bit.

Sully meet Braddock (Tati Gabrielle). Braddock is likely a hired badass that works for Moncada to help protect him and deal with the pesky Drake and Sully. Glad to see Tati Gabrielle in this role but I hope her character isn't just a bunch of cliche bad guy lines and an excuse to have our hero's get beat up by a woman as a joke.

Is the screen color getting grey? Where's Drake's breathe meter? Let's assume he trying to escape a trap gone wrong which leads him to a really cool shot of a ship in a cave. Wait for it...

Another shot we saw in the teaser trailer and it looks like it's pulled straight out of the Uncharted 4 game. What we know now is that above this cave is a jungle so these ships aren't getting the Goonie's exit. It's a bit more dramatic. Also with a hole in the cave ceiling that big I wonder why no one found these ships already?

This is one of those moments that I wish was held back from being in the trailer or at least just teased. Right before this shot, we see two quick shots of a helicopter with a grapple line and several guys buckling the lines into the ship. Then we see one of Magellan's ships rise from the treeline. This is really cool and a moment I haven't seen in a game or movie before. This leads to the next big action set-piece...

This looks epic! Two of Magellan's ships being ferried by helicopters is a cool moment. I really wish this wasn't spoiled in the trailer. We know Drake snuck onto one of these ships. Let the high-flying action begin.

I think the bad guys know that Drake's on the other ship and happen to have these really dope grapple guns to swing to the other ship like Peter Pan's lost boys. I think the writers have been to many Pirates Dinner Adventures. We are really going all-in on the pirate theme here. Including...

When you are on an old Carrack ship and have a knife you have to slide down the sail...it's basically a bucket list item for pirates and scallywags and Nate Drake apparently. Although doing it while the ships are being flown through the air up's the danger a bit.

This is the first glimpse we see of Nathan Drake taking out a bad guy. While he's holding a gun we don't see him fire it at a bad guy in either the teaser trailer or this one. The flying knee is a solid move and no doubt this guy is not getting back up again. But it's a bit worrisome that we haven't seen any action featuring guns, rockets, or grenades when it's such a big part of the gameplay in the Uncharted games. Does Drake kill hundreds of bad guys like in the games to gain fortune and glory or is this a PG-13 Spider-Man version of Drake that doesn't kill? Even Indiana Jones had to shoot loads of Nazi's to win the day. Let's hope this Uncharted is not too watered down.

Don't fall Drake! Something tells me he's going to be ok. From a trailer standpoint, this is the crescendo moment before the Title hits and it's a bit of a meh moment. I would've chosen a cooler shot. Even the shot from the Teaser trailer when he spins around a rope and fires his gun is cooler than a slow-motion fall cliffhanger. That's ok though the trailer goes all-in for fans after the title.

And here it is. The Victor Sullivan mustache or at least the start of one. It's not quite the full bushy stache that we've come to love from the games. But let's also take note of the green button-down that's classic Sully attire along with the giant 6 shooter hand cannon he carries. Unless there's a decent time jump in the movie this is probably an epilogue moment after the hero's save the day. I'm sure Sony and Playstation wanted this to be a fun reveal at the end of the film but unfortunately, if you read any comments on the internet fans aren't too happy about the mustacheless Mark Walhberg. I'm sure even this won't be enough to quiet the fans... I can hear it now... "where's the cigar!?!".

There you have it. The race for the greatest treasure is on… if they can survive each other first. #UnchartedMovie is exclusively in movie theaters on February 18 starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Antonio Banderas.

Let's us know what you think of this second Uncharted Trailer.

If you want to hear what Nolan North, the voice and actor for the Uncharted games, think of the Uncharted films you can watch several episodes from CouchSoup including Trailer Talk where we break down more things.