Dan Trachtenberg, known for directing the film "10 Cloverfield Lane" and the Netflix show "The Boys," has stepped down from Sony's film adaption of the hit video game series "Uncharted." Trachtenberg is no stranger to the on-screen adaption of games, as his fan film based on Valve's first-person puzzle game "Portal" caught the attention of J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. His departure makes him the fifth director to step down from this troubled production.

Greatness from small beginnings

For the uninitiated, the "Uncharted" game series revolves around the adventures of a wisecracking treasure hunter named Nathan Drake who leads a charismatic crew of thieves and rogues. Orphaned at an early age, Nathan claims to be the descendant of legendary explorer Sir Francis Drake and keeps a small ring engraved with his motto: "Greatness from small beginnings." Each installment features grand set pieces, exotic locales, and character-driven cutscenes.

The series was conceived by Santa Monica based developer Naughty Dog, previously known for their cartoon platformer titles such as "Crash Bandicoot" and "Jak & Daxter." Highly acclaimed by both fans and critics for its Hollywood presentation, stirring adventure, and strong performances, a film adaption of this series seemed like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

A Thief's End

The "Uncharted" film adaption has had a troubled production, with many writers, directors, and even actors being attached only to leave the project.

At one point, Mark Whalberg was set to play Nathan Drake before he left the project and was replaced by Tom Holland of "Spider-Man" fame. During this point in the production, "Three Kings" director David O. Russell wrote a treatment with roles intended for Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci.

At another point, "Night at the Museum" director Shawn Levy was set to film a script penned by "A-Team" writer Joe Carnahan.

Carnahan had described his treatment as having an "Anti-Indiana Jones" feel. Neil Druckman, writer of "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" and "The Last of Us," was reportedly not consulted by Carnahan and Tweeted, "We know nothing about the film. Wish he'd stop implying that he has our support."

Is there still hope?

While previously cursed with dismal box office results and reviews, video game adaptions have started to attract financial and critical success.

"Pokemon: Detective Pikachu" became the first live-action video game film to get a "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes while the Netflix animated show based on "Castlevania" was lauded by both gamers and critics. The "Uncharted" games have been praised for bringing a summer blockbuster feel to video games. If the right director is ever found, surely, "Uncharted" could become another video game film success story.

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