When audiences sit down to watch Tom Holland's latest adventure, this time as Nathan Drake in Uncharted, they will first lay their eyes upon an iconic video game sequence being brought to live-action life. Uncharted starts off by giving moviegoers a taste of this movie version's take on the cargo sequence form the Uncharted games, a scenario which puts Drake on the back of a plane hanging onto flying cargo boxes to pull himself back to safety. Quite a bit of movie magic went into shooting this sequence, an experience which Uncharted director Ruben Fleischer opened up about on ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast.
"That sequence was always one of my favorites from the video game franchise," Fleischer explained. "And when I read the script and saw that it'd open with that, I was just so stoked. The way that that was shot was actually pretty cool. I'd never done anything quite like it." For Fleischer to have had a new experience with a major set piece says something as his resumé boasts such titles as Zombieland, Gangster Squad, and Venom.
"There's these things called KUKA arms, which are robotic arms that you would see on the floor of a car factory," Fleischer said. "And we were using them to suspend the boxes. And there was five of them and they're all programmed by a computer so that they have synchronized movement. And they were able to do that fishtail thing. And we could stack them vertically, so they had a bit of a descent which allowed gravity to help us out."
From there, it came down to getting the cast in the right place to act out the sequence. Yes, Tom Holland was really rigged to these cargo boxes that were moving on robotic arms for a portion of the shoot. "Our second unit director, Scott Rogers, who was also our stunt coordinator, is a master with rigging. And so, putting the cast and the stunt guys on wires to traverse those boxes," Fleischer said. "It was shot in the parking lot outside of the stages in Babelsberg. And then, we composited in the background."
Promotional footage for Uncharted has offered some looks at this sequence being made. Some of that footage is laid over the clip in the tweet below of Fleischer talking about how he brought the sequence to life.
"Nathan Drake in the game is somebody who's been at this treasure hunting thing for a long time," Fleischer said, revealing his knowledge of the popular PlayStation game franchise. "Our character, he's an unassuming bartender who has a love for history, but, other than that, really no experience out there in the world, fighting, shooting, jumping off of planes, all the things that he learns how to do." Throughout the film which earned a positive review from ComicBook.com's Tanner Dedmon, Holland's Nathan Drake comes into his own as an adventurous treasure hunter.
Are you excited to see Uncharted? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram! Phase Zero's full interview with Fleischer is available now. Uncharted opens in theaters on Friday.