Nathan Fillion stars as Nathan Drake in unauthorized Uncharted fan film

Well, this is a surprise worth treasuring. Fulfilling years' worth of fan requests and grassroots campaigning, Nathan Fillion has finally taken on the role of globetrotting adventurer Nathan Drake in an Uncharted movie. But rather than being a big-budget adaptation of the Naughty Dog game franchise, the actor is involved with something even more surprising — a bona fide Uncharted fan film.

Starring Fillion as Nathan Drake, Stephen Lang as Sully, and Mircea Monroe as Elena, the fan film follows the famed adventurer/thief as he lets himself get captured for an infiltration mission. With Sully on the outside offering guidance over a radio earpiece, Drake fights his way through henchmen and sneaks around an isolated estate, looking for a treasured artifact of Afonso de Albuquerque.

Even if you've never played the games the film is based on, this small-budget short feature can't help but put a smile on your face. If you have played the games, a certain shot at about 11 minutes in will probably give you goosebumps. 

Either way, it's rare to see this kind of production value on a fan-film passion project, with recognizable actors from big-budget productions. In a way, it's reminiscent of the equally unauthorized Joseph Kahn Power/Rangers short from 2015. 

The unauthorized short movie was directed by Allan Ungar, with full credits for the project being available in the description on the video's YouTube page. Introducing the movie on Twitter, the director praised the short's game cast. "Nathan Fillion absolutely crushed it in this and gave it his everything," Ungar wrote. "Huge thank you to Stephen Lang, Geno Segers, Mircea Monroe and all of the incredible people who worked on this."

Fillion, who did many of his own stunts in the short film, seems to have gotten involved with the fan project thanks to Ungar's enthusiasm. 

"Here's this incredible property, it's out there, and no one has done anything with it yet," the Firefly actor said in a statement, according to IGN. "Brilliant characters, gripping stories, tailor made for me — add in Allan's passion for Uncharted, and talent — why wouldn't we?"

The arrival of the fan film came as a surprise partly due to the fact that an authorized Uncharted movie, set to star Tom Holland as a younger Nathan Drake, is currently in development from Sony Pictures. 

That movie has been in development for long enough that Fillion actually at one put launched a campaign to get the role for himself, ultimately missing his window by being too much of a grown-ass man to play the character in an origin story.

Sony has yet to set a release date for the official Uncharted movie. Fillion can currently be seen in the newest seasons of Santa Clarita Diet and A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, and he can also be heard lending his voice to the animated DC Comics film The Death of Superman.