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Eli Roth now set to direct Borderlands movie for Lionsgate

Video game film adaptations have a long history of troubled productions, with many projects never getting off the ground. Lionsgate is looking to buck the trend with their upcoming Borderlands movie, which Eli Roth will now direct.

The Hostel director announced his involvement with the project with a tweet, which included a picture of his head on a Psycho’s body. Production on the film is scheduled to begin later this year with a script by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin. Avi and Ari Arad, who are currently working on a Metal Gear Solid film, will produce the project.

So excited to be part of the @Borderlands family! Thank you @GearboxOfficial @Lionsgate @DuvalMagic, @picturestart, Arad Productions and everyone for welcoming me in. See you on Pandora!

— Eli Roth (@eliroth) February 20, 2020

“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,” Roth told Deadline. “Randy Pitchford and everyone at Gearbox have been incredibly supportive of my ideas — it really feels like a perfect storm of creators coming together.”

The announcement comes shortly after Sonic The Hedgehog broke the opening weekend box office record for a video game adaptation, bringing in nearly $70 million over the holiday weekend. With Detective Pikachu’s positive performance last year, it might be time for Hollywood to invest in gaming IPs.

What remains to be seen is whether or not the project will actually happen. Video game movies tend to have a hard time keeping directors. John Woo was infamously slated to direct a Metroid adaptation in 2006 before the project fell apart.

The most recent example comes from Uncharted, a project that has been stuck in development since 2009. The project went through six directors in as much time, including Silver Linings Playbook director David O’Russell and 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Dan Trachtenberg. The film is currently scheduled to start shooting in four weeks, despite having no director attached at the moment.

Still, Lionsgate executives remain optimistic about the Borderlands film. “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,” says Lionsgate president Nathan Kahane.

The Borderlands movie currently does not have a release date. In the meantime, Borderlands 3 is getting a level cap increase, so players have something to do while waiting to see if the film will ever happen.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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