Sunday, April 21, 2024

Lights, Camera, Borderlands: First Look at Star-Studded Video Game Adaptation

HomeEntertainmentLights, Camera, Borderlands: First Look at Star-Studded Video Game Adaptation

For decades, Hollywood has tried and often failed to successfully adapt beloved video games into blockbuster films. But a new crop of adaptations backed by A-list talent aims to change that narrative. Leading the charge is “Borderlands,” an upcoming big-screen take on the wildly popular sci-fi shooter game franchise from director Eli Roth.

In exclusive first-look images, audiences get a glimpse of the gritty yet stylized world of Pandora brought to life, inhabited by a star-studded ensemble of outcasts and misfits. Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett embodies the central role of Lilith, a legendary bounty hunter with fiery red hair, sporting a combat-ready look complete with body armor, goggles, and an intimidating firearm.

Blanchett is joined by talents like Kevin Hart as Roland, a seasoned mercenary; Ariana Greenblatt as the young but devilish demolitionist Tiny Tina; and Jamie Lee Curtis as Tannis, an eccentric scientist. Rounding out the ragtag crew are Florian Munteanu as Krieg, Tina’s brutish bodyguard; Gina Gershon as Moxxi, a tough-as-nails bar owner; and Jack Black providing the voice of Claptrap, an infamous wise-cracking robot.

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In one image, the entire group is seen peering down a dark manhole together, hinting at the adventures that await as Lilith returns to her home planet of Pandora on a mission to find a missing young girl who could hold the key to the universe’s fate. As the synopsis teases, “The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.”

Bringing this unique vision to the screen has been a passion project for Roth, known for horror hits like “Hostel” and the recent “Thanksgiving.” The “Borderlands” video game series, first released in 2009 to widespread acclaim, is set in a futuristic world blending sci-fi and Western themes. Players take control of “Vault Hunters” battling bandits and hostile creatures on Pandora while pursuing legendary vaults filled with advanced alien technology.

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While faithful in capturing the aesthetic and spirit of the games, the film is not beholden to existing canon. This allowed Roth and the filmmakers more creative freedom in crafting a cohesive story and selecting their ensemble cast from the series’ wide array of characters. Longtime fans may be surprised to see some faces from later games appearing alongside original protagonists.

Randy Pitchford, founder of Gearbox Entertainment which develops the Borderlands games, was heavily involved as an executive producer and creative consultant. After initially rejecting Hollywood overtures to adapt his baby for years, Pitchford finally signed off after developing a rapport and close working relationship with producer Ari Arad.

“Finally, we were playing League of Legends together one day, Ari and I. We were talking on chat, like on Discord, about the possibility of a movie while we were playing,” Pitchford explained. Bonding over gaming sessions gave him the confidence to entrust Borderlands’ big screen leap to Arad and Roth.

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Assembling such a talented cast was a major coup. For Blanchett, it marked a reunion with Roth after their collaboration on 2018’s “The House with a Clock in Its Walls.” Her casting as the fearless Lilith was a no-brainer for the director, who considers the two-time Oscar winner one of the greatest living actresses.

“I think with me, she has permission to go a little bit weird and a little bit insane because it’s like, ‘Well, it’s Eli,'” said Roth. “It’s just like, ‘Let’s go have fun.’ But she’s obviously very serious about her character.”

The full official trailer for “Borderlands” arrives on Wednesday, February 22nd, with the film slated to hit theaters on August 9th, 2024. While video game movie stumbles remain fresh in the minds of many, the stacked cast and Roth’s anarchic sensibilities give hope that this gritty space odyssey could finally break the curse.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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