Movies & TV / News

Uncharted Movie Delayed Again to March 2021, Masters of the Universe Taken Off Release Slate

January 26, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

Another day, another delay for the long in-development Uncharted movie. Deadline reports that the Sony Pictures uncharted film has been delayed yet again. It’s been pushed from a previous release date of December 18, 2020 to March 5, 2021; a spot previously held by another long-in-development hell film, Masters of the Universe.

Currently, Ruben Fleischer is attached to direct the film based on the smash-hit PlayStation video game franchise, with Tom Holland to star as Nathan Drake. Mark Wahlberg has also been reportedly attached to the picture. Fleischer is just the latest in a long line of directors and writers who have been attached to the video game adaptation, which has still failed to materialize. Uncharted now takes the release slot previously occupied by Masters of the Universe, which has constantly stalled in development hell for years.

The current Uncharted film draft was scripted by Rafe Judkins and long-tenured MCU writers Art Marcum & Matt Holloway.

As for Masters of the Universe, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the film based on the iconic Mattel toy property has been taken off Sony’s release schedule. Previously, Noah Centineo was attached to star in the film, with brothers Adam and Aaron Nee to direct. Last October, there were rumors of Sony possibly selling off the carriage rights of Masters of the Universe to Netflix for a streaming release.

Seeing as to how January of 2020 is almost in the books, it was highly unlikely for a Masters of the Universe film to make a March 2021 release. What’s probably getting lost in the discussion is that current Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tom Rothman. Rothman has a reputation for being a notorious micromanager for film productions, and he’s been reportedly frugal about budgets and costs for tentpoles in the past. Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld previously cited Rothman as the major roadblock at 20th Century Fox that prevented the Deadpool movie from getting made.

The Deadpool movie was made and eventually released in 2016. The film went on to gross $363 million domestic and $782 million worldwide. It garnered an 85 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And it was all accomplished with an R-rating and a budget of only $58 million. That’s a fraction of the cost of most major tentpoles and comic book superhero films in recent years. Ultimately, Deadpool was not greenlit by 20th Century Fox until Tom Rothman left his post at the studio.

Masters of the Universe likely faces a number of obstacles in the eyes of Sony Pictures. Making a movie about He-Man and his adventures in Eternia would not be cheap and would most certainly be a costly effort to meet the expectations of audiences raised on big budget superhero films and Game of Thrones. Not to mention, the property itself has not been very popular since its heyday in the 1980s. It still enjoys popularity amongst a loyal fanbase, but it’s more of a niche, collector fanbase in recent years. The Transformers franchise was at least able to see a resurgence in popularity after its initial boom in the 1980s, and the toyline was able to reinvent itself throughout the 90s and 00s.

Uncharted also likely faces similar obstacles as a video game property. Detective Pikachu managed to make $431 million worldwide, but that film is generally the exception and not the rule. It’s domestic take was still only $144 million with a $150 million budget. An Uncharted movie would likely not be a cheap undertaking either. Not to mention, films based on video game properties tend to be disappointments. Case in point, 2016’s Warcraft movie, which was a costly flop. The 2016 Assassin’s Creed movie based on the popular Ubisoft franchise was also a costly flop.

Whether or not this iteration of the Uncharted movie materializes or sees yet another “delay” remains to be seen.