It was back in 2015 when we first heard that Lionsgate was teaming with Gearbox Software and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. to bring the video game series Borderlands to the big screen with a feature film adaptation. Since then, the popular video game franchise has seen a new entry with last fall’s Borderlands 3, but not much movement on the movie front. That may be about to change though, because it looks like Eli Roth will direct the Borderlands movie. Take a look:
This tweet comes to us from Randy Pitchford, who is the CEO of Gearbox Software, the developer behind the successful Borderlands video game franchise that began back in 2009. Randy took to Twitter to announce that director Eli Roth, whose work includes Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock and most recently The House with a Clock in its Walls, has come aboard to direct the Borderlands movie for Lionsgate and Arad Productions.
This news has now been confirmed by multiple trades, so it seems official. Not only is the Borderlands movie on its way, but it will be directed by none other than Eli Roth. Producing the film are Ari and Avi Arad for Arad Productions, and Erik Feig via Picturestart. Randy Pitchford will serve as executive producer alongside Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive.
According to THR, Eli Roth will direct Borderlands based on the most recent draft of the script written by Craig Mazin. Mazin’s previous work includes The Hangover Part III and The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Recently, he also created the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, for which he nabbed two Emmys, including one for writing. That hopefully bodes well for the Borderlands script.
In a statement, Eli Roth expressed his confidence in the script and excitement at taking on a project that has such scale and ambition as Borderlands. Lionsgage Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane also said that they cracked the code on bringing the property to the big screen, so hopefully this team can deliver a truly great video game movie.
There will certainly be a ton of interest in this project. The Borderlands video game series has sold over 57 million units worldwide since 2009. The most recent entry in the series, Borderlands 3, released last September. Borderlands is a role-playing, first person shooter game that is set on the world of Pandora, but you won’t find any Na’vi on this Pandora.
Similar to James Cameron’s Pandora, the Pandora of Borderlands attracted the attention of mega-corporations seeking fortunes from the planet’s mineral wealth. That turned out to be for naught though, and they don’t find much other than some alien artifacts and dangerous indigenous lifeforms. So the corporations abandoned the planet, leaving behind their workers. The games pick up after this, as it seems that Pandora is not as devoid of wealth as it initially seemed.
It’s certainly a fascinating premise, and given the popularity of the video game franchise, there is clearly something about it that clicks with people. With any luck, that will translate into live-action for the big screen movie. Borderlands is also coming about at what may be an opportune time, Sonic the Hedgehog just broke the opening weekend record for a video game movie following last year’s Detective Pikachu doing the same. Two movies may not be a trend, but perhaps things are on the upswing for the video game movie genre.