We’re not exactly sure where the line between “fan film” and “professional production” lies, but certain filmmakers like to swerve all over it – consider Adi Shankar’s cheekily named Bootleg Universe, where Thomas Jane reprised his role as a certain skull-fixated vigilante.
Consider also Uncharted – Live Action Fan Film, which presents its aw-shucks-we-just-love-the-material bonafides right there in the title, but stars Nathan Fillion (Serenity, Castle), Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don’t Breathe), and Ernie Reyes, Jr. (all kinds of stuff, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze). Once you’ve got a cast like that, you can’t really call yourself a fan film, really. Somebody’s getting paid, even if it’s technically not for profit.
But that’s for the courts to decide! (No, really) For now, bask in the glory of this polished AF 15 minuter based on the hugely popular Uncharted computer game series. Fillion is, as so many fans have clamoured for, modern day Indy Jones clone Nathan Drake, here in a spot of bother down Mexico way. Lang is sidekick Sully, picking up a paycheque for chewing on a cigar for a spell; while Reyes is in the key role of Guy Who Kicks the Shit Out of Drake, aka El Tigre.
The whole thing comes courtesy of Canadian action director Allan Ungar, who seems to have a thing for old school heroics; his first film, Tapped Out, starred Michael Biehn (Aliens) and Martin Kove (The Karate Kid), while his Gridlocked featured Dominic Purcell, Danny Glover, and the aforementioned Lang.
This feels like a calling card. Uncharted‘s slow journey to the cinema has been well documented, and can’t have been helped by Tomb Raider‘s recent underperformance. The 29 year old Ungar has been working himself up the b-grade genre ranks – his next film, Decoy, sees him callingaction on Frank Grillo, Andy Garcia, Carrie Anne Moss. The powers that be could do worse than giving the kid a shot – he’s clearly got the chops.