Not enough post-apocalyptic cinema for your liking? Good news, then — Lionsgate is planning to bring Gearbox’s raucous RPG/FPS hybrid series Borderlands to the big screen.
The game series has been growing in prominence since it debuted as something of a sleeper hit in 2009. Its blend of fast-paced run-and-gun combat, endless loot, and warped sense of humour won it an ardent following, and has since expanded through several shooter sequels and a story-driven episodic adventure spin-off from Telltale Games.
Set in a distant future after humanity has colonised the distant frontier world of Pandora, each game sees an assortment of scrappy protagonists staking a claim to whatever they can find to survive after the governing megacorporation abandons the planet. While the movie won’t necessarily adapt the events of the games, there’s plenty of room to tell stories in the setting. Madman Handsome Jack has become a breakout character for the series though, so we’d expect to see him make an appearance in some form. There’ll be no escaping Claptrap, either.
While no director or cast has been mentioned, Borderlands will be developed by former Marvel Studios producers Avi and Ari Arad. The duo have been involved in the likes of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, the Blade trilogy, and the first Iron Man, but also the dreadful Man-Thing, Ghost Rider, and Bratz: The Movie. The quality pendulum could swing either way, here.
Lionsgate has been intent on pushing into videogames adaptations at a greater pace since at least last year, when it appointed Nerdist’s Peter Levin as president of interactive ventures and games.
“Part of our strategy in entering the game space under Peter Levin has been to source new brands with built-in audiences that will translate into great films and television shows,” said Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs, via statement. “The Borderlands games don’t pull any punches, and we’ll make the movie with the same in-your-face attitude that has made the series a blockbuster mega-franchise.”
“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace with an incredible portfolio of brands; our partners at Gearbox have pioneered and cultivated an iconic property; and Avi and Ari Arad are two of the most successful producers of action franchises,” added Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Borderlands publisher Take-Two Interactive. “This alliance is ideally positioned to create a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon that will delight Borderlands’ current legions of fans and captivate moviegoers around the world.”
The success of Mad Max: Fury Road this summer has no doubt influenced the studio signing off on a Borderlands movie. Both have the same kind of anarchic, arid apocalypse visual, and there’s even a distinct similarity between the game’s Psychos and the film’s War Boys. Hopefully, whoever ends up helming Borderlands will also be able to capture the zeitgeist and deliver more than a by-the-numbers adaptation.
No release window for Borderlands has yet been announced.