Lionsgate confirms rumored 'Borderlands' movie directed by Eli Roth

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

On Thursday, motion picture production house Lionsgate confirmed rumors it is working on a film adaptation of the video game Borderlands. Producers Avi and Ari Arad have tapped Eli Roth to direct. Filming is slated to start sometime this year.

“I’m so excited to dive into the world of Borderlands, and I could not be doing it with a better script, producing team, and studio,” Roth told Deadline.

Wind of the adaptation broke last summer when a film synopsis was leaked to Full Circle Cinema. According to the plot summary, the film will be taking several liberties as far as character backstories, and game lore are concerned.

“A legendary thief named Lilith will be the protagonist in a new story that will include instantly recognizable faces, like the fan-favorite Claptrap. The movie will find Lilith in the Atlas Corporation space prison when the CEO gives her the chance to earn her freedom by rescuing his daughter, the foul-mouthed Tiny Tina, on the planet Pandora. The mission takes an unexpected turn when it becomes clear that the little girl is the key to unlocking a valuable alien vault that Atlas wants all for itself.”

At the time, Full Circle reported that 22 Jump Street writer Oren Uziel was working on the screenplay. However, Lionsgate says it has hired Craig Mazin to write the adaptation. Mazin just won two Emmy Awards for his work on the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. The studio has also brought Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick and Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford onboard as executive producers.

“With Eli’s vision and Craig’s screenplay, we believe we have cracked the code on bringing the anarchic world of Borderlands to the big screen in a big way that will be a fresh, compelling and cinematic event for moviegoers and fans of the game,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane.

We shall see. Lionsgate did not mention plot points, nor did it acknowledge the allegedly leaked synopsis, but if the rumored outline is valid, the movie will probably be a hard-sell for fans.

Video game film adaptations rarely do well, and most of the time, they flop because the writers played with the lore too much. The Netflix series The Witcher is an excellent example of how games should be translated to television or film.

Fans might give Lionsgate a pass for making Lilith out a thief since there is a lot of her backstory that is unknown. However, it is well established in Borderlands lore that Tiny Tina is an orphan and not the daughter of an Atlas exec. Furthermore, she is definitely not a vault key. These types of changes are what usually land video game adaptations in the rubbish pile with the likes of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Alone in the Dark, and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

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Rayneofpayne

TS Enthusiast
Script is the major key.
If anything is going to get made they need to take a bit from how the Deadpool movies were made, fans of a series don't want to see some writers or director/producers interpretation of an already established franchise, they want to see a visual interpretation of what already is established sticking to the key elements that make Borderlands, Borderlands.
It's like where the comic book, anime, games, and novels movies went wrong leading to box office bombs.
Sonic's hideous first impressions, Ghost in the shell, and some of Netflix's adaptions, and Comics movies were travesties all because some Hollywood ***** decided to push either an agenda with SJW BS that had absolutely no place where it was inserted alienating the consumer base to a small percentage of people while leaving fans massively disappointed a recent 2 examples would be Capt. Marvel and Batwomen which were just god aweful interpretations.

Netflix's Witcher had some issues like focusing on Yennefer and Ciri too early, because of girl power, and out of continuity while changing quite a few things that are bewildering choices, thankfully the cast seem to be Uber nerds of the franchise that really pulled the series together with their portrayal and acting making it good. Personally I thought altered Carbon while not perfect was an example of a great adaption and flew under most people's radar because apparently people can't handle Adult content.
 
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amstech

IT Overlord
Sonic the Hedgehog is doing really well.
Jumanji did really well.
The Witcher is doing very good.

Maybe the 'video game into shows and movies being all trash' moniker is starting to change.
And what a coop that would be...a Drakan Movie? A Pixar Croc movie? Soul Reaver movie? The lore and possibilities are endless, they could dive into games like they dove into Marvel characters.
 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Sonic the Hedgehog is doing really well.
Jumanji did really well.
The Witcher is doing very good.

Maybe the 'video game into shows and movies being all trash' moniker is starting to change.
And what a coop that would be...a Drakan Movie? A Pixar Croc movie? Soul Reaver movie? The lore and possibilities are endless, they could dive into games like they dove into Marvel characters.
Sonic is the first video game movie that the consensus is that it's actually pretty good.
Jumanji is not a video game movie, and didn't even have a video game before the movies.
The Witcher isn't even a video game film (despite what the article is implying), or a movie. The games are loosely based off of the book series, the TV series follows the books a lot closer.

But Sonic being good doesn't say anything (yet). If Hollywood can consistently make a few more good video game movies, we can start to assume they've finally learned how to make them...
 

amstech

IT Overlord
Sonic is the first video game movie that the consensus is that it's actually pretty good.
Jumanji is not a video game movie, and didn't even have a video game before the movies.
The Witcher isn't even a video game film (despite what the article is implying), or a movie. The games are loosely based off of the book series, the TV series follows the books a lot closer.

But Sonic being good doesn't say anything (yet). If Hollywood can consistently make a few more good video game movies, we can start to assume they've finally learned how to make them...
The first Mortal Kombat was pretty successful and well liked. Some of the Resident Evil movies did well financially. The Witcher, film or series, (who cares) is great, dont care how loosely the games are based off the book, thats irrelevant. Sonic is the first video game movie where the "critic" consensus is good.
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Sonic is the first video game movie that the consensus is that it's actually pretty good.
Jumanji is not a video game movie, and didn't even have a video game before the movies.
The Witcher isn't even a video game film (despite what the article is implying), or a movie. The games are loosely based off of the book series, the TV series follows the books a lot closer.

But Sonic being good doesn't say anything (yet). If Hollywood can consistently make a few more good video game movies, we can start to assume they've finally learned how to make them...
Just for the record: I did not mean to imply that The Witcher series was based on the video game. In fact, I have stated in past articles that it more closely follows the novels. I was merely saying that the mass popularity of the series might have something to do with everyone and their mother wanting to do other adaptations of late. The fact that the series is based on the books does not diminish the association of the show to the video game franchise as could be seen with the uptick in interest in the games after the series aired.

That said, I agree with you. Hollywood has a long way to go to prove it can successfully adapt video games to the big screen. It has overwhelmingly shown that it generally does a very poor job representing our favorite video game franchises. I do not have high hopes for a Borderlands movie. It will likely be just another attempt to capitalize on a brand rather than expand the universe and lore, but it would be nice to see them pull it off.
 
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Rayneofpayne

TS Enthusiast
Sonic the Hedgehog is doing really well.
Jumanji did really well.
The Witcher is doing very good.

Maybe the 'video game into shows and movies being all trash' moniker is starting to change.
And what a coop that would be...a Drakan Movie? A Pixar Croc movie? Soul Reaver movie? The lore and possibilities are endless, they could dive into games like they dove into Marvel characters.
Out of them only Sonic was a real game.
Jumanji and the Witcher are from novels, and in the witcher's case the novels were quite famous before the games ever came out, they in fact already had a Polish TV series called "the Hexer" that did well over there despite it's flaws.jumanji was a child's book from 1981.
 
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m4a4

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Just for the record: I did not mean to imply that The Witcher series was based on the video game. In fact, I have stated in past articles that it more closely follows the novels. I was merely saying that the mass popularity of the series might have something to do with everyone and their mother wanting to do other adaptations of late. The fact that the series is based on the books does not diminish the association of the show to the video game franchise as could be seen with the uptick in interest in the games after the series aired.

That said, I agree with you. Hollywood has a long way to go to prove it can successfully adapt video games to the big screen. It has overwhelmingly shown that it generally does a very poor job representing our favorite video game franchises. I do not have high hopes for a Borderlands movie. It will likely be just another attempt to capitalize on a brand rather than expand the universe and lore, but it would be nice to see them pull it off.
Well, the other main thing that I was trying to point out is that for it to be considered a video game film, it's origins would have to be as a video game (which Sonic and Borderlands fall under).
I think The Witcher had a better time because it already at least had novels backing the lore. I'm not sure if they'll try for Borderlands (so far it sounds like "no" lol)