Since debuting in 2009, Borderlands has become one of the best-selling video game franchises of all-time, outselling franchises like God of War, Crash Bandicoot, and Street Fighter. The series has already spawned spin-off games, comics, novels, and tabletop games, so naturally, Borderlands’ popularity begs for a film. Now, the film has cast Kevin Hart to play a major role in the upcoming Borderlands movie.
Kevin Hart will be playing Roland, one of the main playable characters in the series. Roland is originally from the planet Promethea and is a former member of the military force known as the Crimson Lance. Roland is a “soldier” class, who likes to use shotguns and combat rifles. Compared to the usual high-energy characters that Hart likes to play, Roland seems like a departure for the comedic actor.
Director Eli Roth talked about how excited he is to be working with Kevin Hart, saying “Borderlands is a different kind of role for him, and we are excited to thrill audiences with a side of Kevin they’ve never seen before. He’s going to be an amazing Roland.” Even though Kevin Hart has previously been in action films like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hobbs & Shaw, and Jumanji: The Next Level, Hart is usually the comedic relief and not the action star. It sounds as though his role of Roland in Borderlands will be a shift from the type of roles we’re used to seeing Hart in.
But Kevin Hart isn’t the only major star in Borderlands, as Cate Blanchett also signed on for the film back in May of 2020. The Oscar-winning actress will play Lillith, a thief who also uses magic. Like Hart, Borderlands seems like a departure from the types of roles Blanchett usually takes on. Between Borderlands and Thor: Ragnarok, it looks as though Blanchett is moving to bigger blockbusters.
In addition to Kevin Hart and Cate Blanchett, Borderlands also has a surprising team behind-the-scenes. Craig Mazin, who wrote Chernobyl and is also developing the upcoming HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, is set to write Borderlands, while Eli Roth will be directing, likely leading to an R-rated film. Roth hasn’t directed a film since 2018’s Death Wish and The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Previously, Roth has directed Cabin Fever, Hostel, and Hostel: Part II, Knock Knock, and acted in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
Currently, Kevin Hart is filming The Man from Toronto, from The Expendables 3, and The Hitman’s Bodyguard director Patrick Hughes. The action-comedy also stars Woody Harrelson and Kaley Cuoco. Hart also looks to be attempting more serious roles as well, as he has already filmed the drama Fatherhood, from About a Boy director Chris Weitz. Between these upcoming roles and his previous dramatic turn in The Upside, it looks as though Hart is actively trying to get out of being known solely for comedy.
But considering the wild source material, the impressive writer and director, and a cast that now boasts Kevin Hart and Cate Blanchett, Borderlands looks to be turning into an intriguing project that could be as crazy as the game.