Borderlands reportedly now has a movie (seriously) in the works! The Borderlands movie has been in development since 2015, but now has horror director and Nazi head-smasher Eli Roth at the helm. The news was tweeted out by Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford himself on Feb. 20.
I’m very excited to welcome Eli Roth as Director of the Borderlands movie in development with Lionsgate and Arad Productions. Please welcome @EliRoth to the team and be sure to catch the @GearboxOfficial Main Theater Show at #PAXEast on 2/27 to learn more. #borderlandsmovie pic.twitter.com/Uaxs7jm10i
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) February 20, 2020
Up until now video game movie adaptations have been notoriously awful. But with recent releases like Detective Pikachu and (surprisingly) the Sonic The Hedgehog movie doing well at the box office, it seems like video game adaptations are suddenly a viable option.
Adaptations usually fall into one of four categories; “so bad it’s good”, ”just plain bad”, “decently watchable” and “actually pretty good”. Movies like Mortal Kombat are usually seen as “so bad it’s good”, where-asWarcraft was “just plain bad” – don’t @ me. I feel like the Borderlands movie will fall somewhere between “so bad it’s good” or “decently watchable.”
It may actually be a good movie
Eli Roth is a… divisive filmmaker to say the least. He’s most well known for films like Cabin Fever and the Hostel franchise, if that tells you anything. He’s also an actor – you may remember his character in Inglorious Basterds, affectionately named the Bear Jew. Yeah, that’s about it for his iconic characters actually.
But he’s an experienced director, meaning that the movie may actually turn out decently well. It’s unknown what kind of story it will focus on, but there’s a lot of source material to work with. Roth is very familiar with mayhem, gore and darkness – all of which are part of what make Borderlands so iconic.
The universe of Borderlands is so expansive that a movie could honestly go in any direction. It could follow one or all of the Vault Hunter groups from any of the games, or it could feature a new set of characters entirely – somewhat like Tales From the Borderlands.
Maybe it could instead be about the origins of Pandora, and the events leading up to the games. Maybe we could finally get a full comprehensive Handsome Jack story? Who knows. There are so many directions this movie could go in.
How does it fit into the canon?
Whatever story the Borderlands will have, it’ll be interesting to see how it fits in with the rest of the Borderlands canon. It’s being produced by Pitchford himself, which is an interesting thing to happen with an adaptation. It may fit into the universe in a similar fashion to Tales From the Borderlands, but it could also act as its own stand-alone entity, separate from the events of any of the existing games.
If it takes a similar form to TFtB, then it would be interesting to see how it could set up events for future games in the series. It could set up a larger villain than Handsome Jack or the Calypso, or possibly introduce a whole new set of shitty circumstances for Vault Hunters to get caught in.
There is no way to completely fail here
Even if the movie is crap, it’ll have hundreds of thousands of fans to support it. If the movie is great, then it may match or surpass its original budget – being seen by fans and general movie-goers alike. Regardless of what happens, the movie will turn out to be more or less okay. I have mid-range to high hopes for the Borderlands movie, and I’m excited to see how it turns out when it hits theaters.