With the recent success of “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Detective Pikachu,” perhaps the illusion video game movie formula has somewhat been cracked. Studios are appearing more willing and eager than ever to green light film adaptations of the most popular video games and it seems Lionsgate is the next to do so.
In a recent press release it was announced that “Hostel” director Eli Roth has been tapped by Lionsgate to direct a feature film adaptation of the hit video game “Borderlands.” The film will be produced by Avi and Ari Arad along with Erik Feig from a script penned by the Emmy Award-winning writer and producer of “Chernobyl,” Craig Mazin. Gearbox Software (developer of the franchise) founder and Executive Producer of the “Borderlands” video games Randy Pitchford and Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick will serve as Executive Producers.
Roth said in the announcement:
“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. I have a long, successful history with Lionsgate — I feel like we have grown up together and that everything in my directing career has led to a project of this scale and ambition. I look forward to bringing my own energy, ideas, and vision to the wild, fun, and endlessly creative world of the game. Randy Pitchford and everyone at Gearbox have been incredibly supportive of my ideas — it really feels like a perfect storm of creators coming together. We are out to make a new classic, one which the fans of the game will love, but also one which will find new audiences globally.”
The story will follow a group of Vault Hunters who travel to the planet Pandora (no, not “Avatar”) to uncover an alien vault that is rumored to contain advanced technology. The hunters soon find themselves up against the local wildlife and bandits as they fight to reach the vault before the head of a private army.
“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 Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
While Eli Roth hasn’t had the strongest track record with films such as “The Green Inferno” and “Death Wish,” there’s no denying the filmmaker’s knack for grungy archaic bloody violence (something inherent to the games). Perhaps the sheer chaos and anarchy of “Borderlands” will offer the perfect sandbox he needs to deliver a smash hit. When you pair that with Craig Mazin hot off of “Chernobyl,” the involvement of the game’s creators, and a successful run of video game movies, it’s hard not to have faith in the project.
Production on “Borderlands” is slated to begin later this year.