Mumbai: Filmmaker Ruben Fleischer, best known for directing ”Gangster Squad” and ”Venom”, says Tom Holland’s signature role as Spider-Man never came in the way of the young actor playing a fortune hunter in the upcoming action drama ”Uncharted”.
Holland has teamed up with Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg for the globe-trotting action adventure, set to release theatrically in India on February 18.
In a Zoom interview with PTI from Los Angeles, Fleischer dubbed Holland as a ”dynamic” actor, who brought to life the character of Nathan Drake in the film, based on the PlayStation video game series of the same name by Naughty Dog.
”His image of Spider-Man never became a roadblock for me. He was involved before I was with the project, so when I read it, I read it with him in mind. I was just really excited because he is one of the most dynamic actors working today. He can do anything– comedy, action or drama,” the filmmaker said.
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Holland first appeared as Spider-Man in the 2016 ”Captain America: Civil War” and featured in the ”Avengers” series, alongwith headlining three ”Spider-Man” movies, including last year’s global blockbuster ”Spider-Man: No Way Home”.
Fleischer said the 25-year-old actor is effortlessly charming and he could only envision Holland for the part.
”When I read the script, he was the only person I imagined in that role. While we have the video game characters reference point, I love this younger version of Nathan Drake that Tom has offered the world.” Also stars Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas.
”Uncharted” follows the story of Holland’s street-smart Nathan Drake, who is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan (Wahlberg), to recover a fortune lost 500 years ago and go against a ruthless treasurer hunter Santiago Moncada, played by Banderas, who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. The Los Angeles-based helmer said it was crucial that Holland and the 50-year-old ”Ted” star have a crackling chemistry as their characters take on the heist job and navigate their way of working together.
”I love their dynamics in the movie. Mark and Tom play off each other so well. They are both effortlessly funny. The banter between them is my favourite aspect of the movie. They are both just great comedians. You think of them as these big movie stars who have done these big action movies but it needs to be recognised that Mark has been in some of the finest movies of all time.
”Whether it is ‘The Other Guys’, ‘Ted’, every role he brings humour to, even ‘The Departed’ with Martin Scorsese, he makes me laugh really hard. We also had the video game to refer to, where Nate and Sully have this classic banter, so there was a template for the relationship,” he added.
Fleischer, however, is not new to mounting either comedies, action films or ensembles. He helmed films like the 2009 zombie-comedy ”Zombieland”, Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone starrer action thriller ”Gangster Squad” and the superhero film ”Venom”, headlined by Tom Hardy.
The 47-year-old director said even when one is making an action spectacle, it all comes down to the power of a story: The audience will be invested through all the adventure, as long as there is an emotional hook.
”For me, the dos and don’ts of making big action movies are, at the end of the day, the set pieces, the action is just window dressing. You have to care about the story, the characters. It starts with a great script, with well rounded characters whose story you want to follow. It is important to cast the best people you can possibly find for those roles. ”The emotion and the heart of the film has to be at the forefront at all times. Within this giant story and world, what is the personal story you are invested in? For us, it was Nathan’s search for his brother, that’s what is really driving him, who he has not seen for a long time,” he added.
Sony Pictures Entertainment India will release ”Uncharted” across four languages- English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.