The Borderlands are expanding, as Lionsgate has announced that it is developing a film based on Gearbox’s hit shooter franchise, with esteemed father-son action franchise producers Avi and Ari Arad at the helm, Variety reports.
The original Borderlands released to great success in 2009 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K. Set on the frontier planet of Pandora, players assumed the role of one of four “Vault Hunters,” seeking the planet’s legendary, hidden riches. Its 2012 sequel went on to even greater acclaim, becoming 2K’s best-selling game of all time. Subsequently a third “pre-sequel” has been released, along with an episodic adventure series developed by Telltale Games.
Bombastic and silly, the Borderlands series infuses its science fiction with a bit of the western genre, creating a unique world full of memorable characters, such as Hyperion Corporation head and Borderlands 2 antagonist Handsome Jack. The series’ colorful world and tongue-in-cheek sensibility will play well with fans who have come to like a bit of humor with their action, such as in the recent Marvel films Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.
Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad and his son Ari have had hands in the creation of numerous blockbuster action franchises, including Iron Man, Spider Man, X-Men, and Blade. This is one of the first fruits of Lionsgate’s push into video games, kicked off last year by the firm’s hiring of Nerdist Industries CEO 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,” explained Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “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.”
Historically films based on video games have fallen somewhat short of blockbuster expectations. And the failure of video game films such as those by notorious German director Uwe Boll has dissuaded many production companies from investing in game adaptations. However, as the gaming industry grows ever more mainstream, new attempts are being made, notable among them being the upcoming Assassin’s Creed film starring Michael Fassbender.
No screenwriter, director, or production timeline has yet been announced for the Borderlands film.