Playing James Bond is a dream role for Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland and the 25-year-old has detailed how he’s already tried to star in his own Bond movie. Ahead of his next big screen appearance in Sony’s Uncharted, Holland revealed how his casting as Nathan Drake was a result of his pitch for a James Bond origin story not working out. He now sees that the idea he had wouldn’t have worked, but Holland notes how the failed pitch led to the realization that Holland could instead star in an Uncharted film.
“I had a meeting, after or during Spider-Man 2 [Far From Home], with Sony to pitch this idea of a young Bond film that I’d come up with,” Holland told Total Film, per GamesRadar. “It was the origin story of James Bond. It didn’t really make sense. It didn’t work. It was the dream of a young kid, and I don’t think the Bond estate were particularly interested.”
He added: “The idea of a young Bond film sparked this idea, in turn, that you could do a Nathan Drake story as an origin story, rather than as an addition to the games. And that opened a conversation.”
The Nathan Drake character comes directly from the Uncharted video games. The film has been in development for years with the news of Holland’s casting dating back to 2017. In the years prior, Nathan Fillion had campaigned to get the role, and there were rumors of Mark Wahlberg possibly getting the part.
Mark Wahlberg was getting too old to play Nathan Drake once the decision was made to go with an origin story. With Holland in place, Wahlberg was offered the part of Sully, a mentor to Nathan who accompanies the adventurer on a journey to find the “greatest treasure never found.” As Wahlberg was reportedly attached to the project many years prior, the casting is a full-circle moment for the actor. His presence on the set was also intimidating for Holland, who couldn’t help but feel so much smaller once he stood side by side with Wahlberg.
“When we went to set for the first time, I saw Mark Wahlberg, and Mark is massive. He is a unit,” Holland told Total Film. “I was in good shape, but I wasn’t by any means big… We went home for five months, all I did was eat and train, eat and train, eat and train – to put a bit of timber on, to make me look not like a child next to Mark.”
Uncharted also stars Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas, and Pilou Asbaek. Ruben Fleischer directs using a screenplay by Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway. Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner, and Ari Arad produced.
You can catch Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in Uncharted when the video game adaptation makes its way to movie theaters on Feb. 18, 2022.