It's finally happening. After five years of development and very little in the way of updates, the Borderlands movie has locked down a director in the form of Eli Roth (Hostel, The House with a Clock In Its Walls). What's more, things seem to be moving rapidly in the right direction, as the video game movie is expected to begin filming this year. If all goes well, we will be traveling to Pandora sooner rather than later.

According to multiple reports, Eli Roth is set to direct the Borderlands movie for Lionsgate. Avi Arad and Ari Arad, known for their work producing the Spider-Man movies, are behind the project. They have been aboard the adaptation since it was first announced in 2015. Roth had this to say about it.

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"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."

Craig Mazin, who most recently wrote HBO's Emmy-winning series Chernobyl, penned the most recent draft of the screenplay. The game, very basically, centers on a group of treasure seekers, known as Vault Hunters, who have traveled to the world of Pandora to seek out a fabled vault with highly valuable contents. The series was created by Gearbox Software and 2K Games. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane had this to say in a statement.

"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."

Video game movies have a complicated history in Hollywood, but the narrative has been changing lately. Detective Pikachu became one of the first video game adaptations to find critical love and a great deal of box office success last year. More recently, Paramount Pictures had a record-breaking weekend with Sonic the Hedgehog. If Lionsgate can find the right way to bring Borderlands to the big screen, this has franchise written all over it.

Borderlands launched in 2009 as a first-person shooter. The series now includes two sequels and an episodic spin-off, Tales from the Borderlands. In total, the games have sold more than 57 million copies worldwide. Borderlands 3, the most recent entry, was released in September 2019. There is no word on casting yet, but with production supposedly gearing up this year, we should be hearing more on that shortly. This news was previously reported by Deadline.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott