The Borderlands movie is based on one of the best-selling critically-acclaimed video game franchises, with several awards under its belt. When the game first released in 2009, the gaming community was stunned by the game’s fast-paced gameplay, comic-like visuals, absurd humor, and environmental storytelling, which captivated the fans.
What really made the game enjoyable was its PCG (procedural content generation) system, which could generate up to 3.5 million unique weapons and other loot, bringing a sense of diversity and non-linearity to the table. With that said, the game was criticized for its paper-thin story and lack of character depth, both of which were expanded in the game’s sequels. Afterward, the story became so grand that Hollywood came knocking on Gearbox Software’s door, asking for a Borderlands movie.
The video game movie adaptation was announced back in 2015, much to the content and dismay of the franchise’s fans. Some were thrilled that Borderlands is finally getting a “Mad Max”-type of movie, which perfectly matches Borderlands. In contrast, others jumped to skepticism given the reputation of previous video game movie adaptations. Nonetheless, the Borderlands movie finally entered the production phase, which means that the cast is set and the recording equipment is finally rolling. Budapest, Hungary, is currently the place of all action, and the people involved didn’t hide their excitement, sharing set photos on their social media.
A Quick Recap Of The Story
The Borderlands movie’s plot still remains shrouded in mystery, but judging from the game’s developer involvement in the film, we suspect that it will closely follow its narrative. Randy Pitchford, the Gearbox Software’s CEO, kept the fandom regularly updated on the movie’s development, revealing the cast, pre-production details, and other elements regarding the project. Unfortunately, those details aren’t grand enough to warrant a clearer picture of the movie’s plot.
However, we can take notes from the game to give us hints of the Borderlands movie. The story of the game, takes place in 2864, on a mysterious, desolate, and barren planet Pandora – a wasteland at the edge of human civilization. The planet once housed an ancient race of aliens who left behind a cache of treasures, riches, and valuable alien tech, known as the Vault. This ushered a “gold rush” among Vault Hunters – daring adventurers and treasure hunters arriving on Pandora searching for a legendary alien vault.
Naturally, the game follows one of these Vault Hunters (the player can pick one of four playable classes) through masses of Pandora’s super-aggressive flora and fauna and hordes of psychotic criminals that were left there by mining expeditions. Throughout the game, the player learns about the ancient alien civilization, the involvement of nefarious Atlas Corporation, and their private army Crimson Lance, and what and where exactly this mysterious Vault is.
It’s still unclear to what extent the Borderland movie’s plot matches the game’s, but given the developers’ involvement and cast and character details, the fans are in for one big surprise. The Borderlands movie might be an exception to the lousy-video-game-movie-adaptations rule.
The Cast And Characters
Fans fret not! Claptrap, the game’s iconic, sassy and sarcastic robot assistant/sidekick, will also appear on the big screen. The voice behind the likable robot is an even more likable actor, the one-and-only Jack Black, whose comedic talent undoubtedly fits the role and the movie’s comedic overtones. Even so, Black is not coming to the Borderlands movie unprepared, as he worked with the director Eli Roth on Roth’s previous projects.
As far as Vault Hunters go, the movie’s developers didn’t disappoint. Cate Blanchet will join Roth and Jack Black once again, this time in the Borderlands movie, nabbing the lead role of Lilith, a woman with extraordinary psychic abilities, also known as Siren. Lilith was one of the playable characters in the first game, and her story was greatly expanded throughout the Borderlands game franchise, which makes her a perfect fit for a leading character. Naturally, if the movie does well and satisfies the fans’ expectations, Lilith’s expanded story makes her an ideal choice for turning a standalone film into a movie franchise. It’s worth noting that Blanchett worked with both Roth and Jack Black in the 2018’s House with the Clock in Its Walls.
Lilith will be accompanied in the Borderlands movie by Roland, a thick-necked soldier and weapon expert known as the Soldier in the original game. This is where things get interesting, possibly even plot-wise since Roland is a former member of Crimson Lance, the game’s antagonistic evil organization. And what’s more interesting is that we’ll see Kevin Hart fitted in Roland’s boots. This is highly unusual and a grand departure from high-energy characters Hart is comfortable with playing since Roland is a quiet and stoic type of guy.
Another fantastic addition to this star-studded Borderlands movie is Jamie Lee Curtis, who is set for the part of Dr. Tannis, an autistic and traumatized non-player character. She’s accompanied by Ariana Greenblatt and her interpretation of Tiny Tina from the game.
The game series has no shortage of humorous, unpredictable, and unruly characters. It looks like Eli Roth is trying to honor the game by introducing some of its most iconic and fan-loved characters. There are still plenty of undisclosed roles with some pretty big actors attached to them.
The Behind-the-Scenes Team
Judging by the cast roster, Borderlands will be a star-studded release. However, movie history has shown that big names on the screen mean nothing if the storytelling isn’t proper. Enter the movie’s director – Eli Roth.
Roth is best known for his work in the horror genre, from his debut Cabin Fever to his work with Black and Blanchett on The House With Clock in Its Walls, all the way to his Eli Roth’s History of Horror docuseries. Some consider him an odd choice for the title’s director, while others do not doubt that he’ll interpret the Borderlands’ violence and cynical humor in a way that fits the franchise.
The Borderlands movie already has an A-tier talent list working in front of the camera and an approved and acclaimed director behind the lens, warranting at least a funny experience. Unfortunately, the release medium and release date are still unknown, but we’ll probably see Borderlands somewhere in late 2022/early 2023. Now, the question remains – theatrical or streaming?