EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is bullish enough on its upcoming Spider-Man Homecoming star Tom Holland that the studio is doubling down on the young actor by building a second major franchise around him. Holland is attaching to star in Uncharted, in what will be redrafted as a prequel to the treasure-hunting action storyline in the Naughty Dog video game for PlayStation.
Shawn Levy is directing a film that will take its inspiration from a sequence in the third iteration of the video game that focused on the young thief Drake, and his first encounter with the professional rogue, Sullivan. This reformulation of the franchise was an inspiration of Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman after seeing the latest cut of the Spider-Man film, sources said.
The studio has tried for years with various directors to get this video game to launch a franchise, with past scripts from Joe Carnahan, David Guggenheim and Eric Warren Singer. Sony Pictures will now set a new scribe to draft the story line that captures the protagonist as he grows into the treasure hunter Nathan Drake, who made the game a top seller. Uncharted is produced by Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad.
Holland first trotted out his Peter Parker character to great acclaim in Captain America: Civil War, the stage setter to the two sequels to The Avengers being directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. WME and Curtis Brown rep the actor. The Jon Watts-directed Spider-Man: Homecoming bows July 7, the first iteration of the webslinger that has directly involved Marvel Studios.
Holland also stars with Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Katherine Waterston in the Alfonso Gomez-Rejon-directed The Current War, which The Weinstein Company releases December 22. Holland’s Spider-Man warmup in Captain America showed the wide-eyed wonder and youthful exuberance, a mash of superpowers and puberty that was consistent with my memory of the original Marvel Comics story line. Previous stars Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield seemed more burdened by tragedy. Holland will hopefully now get to grow into both franchises, which I can’t recall happening quite like this before.