With video game movies and TV adaptations comes a large use of Easter Eggs and references to the source material, the Uncharted film being no different in this regard.
And while some of these Easter Eggs are obvious to fans, some can be easily missed and may go over the heads of even some hardcore Uncharted fans. Spoiler alert for those who have yet to see the Uncharted film, as the end of the events of the movie will be discussed throughout.
Updated September 13, 2022 by Doruk Kaptan: Now that some time has passed since the long-awaited adaptation of Uncharted has been released, most people have had a chance to more objectively criticize the movie. It’s not critically acclaimed or anything, but the consensus seems to be that it was at least decent.
While the movie seems to have struggled with script and characterization, it excels in winking at the game fans with easter eggs. There are a lot of nice nods to the original material, and luckily it doesn’t distract from the movie itself. After all, the games were cinematic enough to easily bleed into an actual movie without much trouble.
15 An Indiana Jones Reference
Uncharted, and by extension, Nathan Drake has always been inspired, and even directly derivative of Indiana Jones, at points. While that doesn’t take anything away from how cool a character Nate is, it’s nice that it was acknowledged by the filmmakers as a nod of respect. It’s not just the obvious name-drop though.
At some point, as the crew goes into a church, Nate exclaims “Nuns! Why does it always gotta be nuns?” This is, of course, a direct reference to Indie’s iconic line, “Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?” At the same time, it hints at the troubled relationship Nate had with the authorities back at his orphanage, so it’s doubly effective.
14 Nate’s Gun Holsters
Not many characters have as few distinguishing clothing items as Nathan Drake, and yet become as iconic. He usually sports some practical adventure-wear and the occasional suit. However, one thing that stands out immediately in any shot of the game is Nate’s gun holsters.
While just a simple leather cross that Nate wears over his shoulders, these holsters have made several appearances throughout the games and have become synonymous with Uncharted. In the movie, Nate actually gets his hands on these holsters after beating a goon and stealing them from him, completing his iconic video game look.
13 “Oh, Crap!”
Nathan Drake is your typical wisecracking protagonist. He has an answer to every situation and chooses to alleviate the tension by joking around. Ironically, his simplest reaction phrase also happens to be the most memorable. You’ll find this man shouting “Crap!” as he messes around all kinds of gorgeous places.
Any Uncharted fan would think of Nathan Drake as soon as they hear “Oh, crap!” Two simple words just perfectly encapsulate the carefree, underdog nature of our lovable treasure hunter. Luckily, we get quite a few instances of Tom Holland dropping the OC-bomb throughout the movie.
12 Sam Is Alive
Sam Drake was only introduced to the gamers in the fourth installment, in which he played a huge part, both in flashback and in the modern day. Obviously, the movie borrows a lot of plot points from the latest game and thus also features Sam prominently, at least during flashbacks.
Throughout the movie, both Nate and the audience find out that Sam has gone, and that his last passion was the treasure Nate finds at the end of the movie. However, in a post-credit scene, we see Sam Drake in a prison cell, revealing that he actually is alive and could potentially join the crew in a possible sequel.
11 Gabriel Roman
In a post-credit scene, right before we get to see Mark Wahlberg in his full Victor Sullivan get-up, we witness a tense trade between Nate and an unknown man. It is revealed that the man works for a person named Roman, and they have an old Nazi map, leading to another treasure.
Fans of the original game would of course realize the name, as Gabriel Roman was the lead antagonist of the first game. The game also featured a Nazi treasure, so this post-credit scene is a heavy nod to the first game, which hopefully we also get to see in a future film.
10 Sully Sporting His Iconic Facial Hair
Early trailers for the film teased Mark Wahlberg’s Victor “Sully” Sullivan with his iconic mustache. And, while the majority of the film sees him go without it, a final post-credits scene pays tribute to his look from the game series. When a deal between Tom Holland’s Nathan Drake and a man named Gabe is seemingly going south, Sully enters to save the day. However, his heroic introduction is overshadowed by a brand-new mustache that Nathan Drake makes fun of immediately.
After a couple of moments of banter between the two, the thugs are taken care of and the duo escape with what they wanted. However, not before Drake steals a cigar that he throws Sully’s way much to his joy.
9 A Dad Joke Taken Straight From The Games
While Mark Wahlberg’s Sully may not be what fans expected, he still manages to capture some important aspects of the character’s personality. This largely manifests through his dialogue and mannerisms in the film.
During their search for the treasure, Sully, Nate, and Chloe end up coming across a church that is more than what meets the eye. In a moment where the characters search the water-filled depths, Sully can be heard saying, “Well, well, well.” While the joke is cringe-worthy and silly, it is one Sully also makes in multiple Uncharted games.
8 The Naughty Dog Sticker
The makers of the Uncharted film really tried to pay their respects to the source material. Observant viewers might notice a familiar-looking logo during a moment in the movie that is a direct nod to the game’s developer.
On Nathan Drake’s suitcase, a nice big sticker can be seen that most will recognise as the logo for developer, Naughty Dog, the studio that created the Uncharted games.
7 A Gift From A Brother
One of the tools Nathan Drake uses frequently throughout the film is a lighter that belonged to his older brother Sam. And while it may barely work and seem like an old, useless pice of junk, its inclusion is a great showcase of the attention to detail director Ruben Fleischer put into the film.
When working together in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Nate and Sam use said lighter frequently to help solve puzzles. This Easter Egg is simply a little reference to the games that actually brings forth a great amount of comedy in the film.
6 A Ring And A Motto
Nathan and his brother Sam grow up as orphans, lacking much of a connection to their family and seemingly left to their own devices for most of their childhood. However, one important heirloom from their family features in the film that plays a large role in the games.
In the opening moments of the film, Sam can be seen handing his younger brother Nathan a necklace with a ring on it. The ring, inscribed with the Latin words for “Greatness from small beginnings,” is a nice Easter Egg that could even play a bigger role in the sequel.
5 The Uncharted Font On Full Display
As with any great adventure film, Nathan Drake and company travel across the world in the film in search of treasure. And as is the way, movies like to announce in a giant text which country the characters find themselves in, any chance they get.
For those paying attention, the text is written in the same font used for the title of the Uncharted games. A small but great Easter Egg that fans most likely missed, given the subtle detail of its inclusion.
4 The Cargo Plane Scene
This reference was hard to miss, given it was used in every trailer for the film. However, for those who haven’t played the games, the hype around this moment may have left you confused and questioning why people found it so familiar.
The Uncharted games have amazing set pieces. However, few are as iconic as the cargo plane sequence in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. While the film changes the actual setting of the scene from the desert to the ocean, the way the sequence plays out is almost scene for scene from the actual game.
3 A Discovery In A Cave
Just like the cargo plane scene, another moment in the film takes great inspiration from another iconic moment. This time from the fourth game in the series, Uncharted: A Thief’s End.
The moment is when Nathan Drake finally discovers the long-lost ships he had been searching for throughout the film in a cave. The image of the pirate ships trapped and hidden in a cave is similar to Nathan’s discovery in the aforementioned title.
2 The Auction Heist
Speaking of moments inspired by A Thief’s End, one of the best scenes in the film is heavily inspired by a moment from the fourth game. In the film, Sully and Nate attend an auction with the intention to steal the La Cruz De La Hermandad Cross. An artifact they believe to be pivotal in leading them to the treasure they’re looking for.
An action-packed and fast-paced scene, the auction heist in the film mirrors one from Uncharted 4. While the item they’re stealing is different and the two men are also joined by Sam in the game, the way the heist plays out in the movie follows a similar narrative to the one in the game.
1 A Cameo From A Familiar Voice
Fans who have played the games may have heard a familiar voice when Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer emerged from the water near the end of the film. That’s because the man laying by the beach is none other than the voice actor of Nathan Drake, Nolan North.
This little cameo is not only a great homage to the games but also a good nod of respect to North, whose portrayal of the character throughout the games is widely regarded as one of the most iconic performances in gaming. This moment, while small, feels like a sign of approval from the voice actor and also serves as a passing of the torch moment.