Borderlands is batsh*t crazy and that’s why we love it. It’s a heightened post-apocalyptic world where your guns can not only talk to you, they can be reloaded by throwing them like an explosive grenade. There’s a lot of questions about just how all that will translate to the big screen, but now we have some inside intel from one of its stars that suggests the movie isn’t gonna get all serious on us.
The charm of Borderlands as a gameplay experience is in the absurdity. Every character you meet is beyond nuts. I mean, there’s a pivotal character in the second game that is a hyper, foul-mouthed, sociopathic pre-teen explosives expert named Tiny Tina. That’s the kind of random fun that has made Borderlands a gamer favorite.
We have a movie adaptation coming up with a decent pedigree behind it. Eli Roth directs from a script by Craig Mazin, his follow-up project to the award-winning Chernobyl by the way, and the cast is packed with bangers like Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Cate Blanchett, Gina Gershon, and Edgar Ramirez.
“Just Lemme Get This Door Open and We’ll Hunt Ourselves a Bullymong.”
Ramirez recently spoke to CinemaBlend about the project and was asked if Borderlands: The Movie will retain the bonkers tone of the games.
Keeping in mind that not a single savvy person in this industry would answer this question with “Not really, we threw all that out and did something more traditional and less interesting,” Ramirez’s answer should still calm any worries Borderlands fans have about the new movie.
“In the end, games, movies, it’s all about storytelling. And the most iconic games, such as Borderlands, is the storytelling and the tone of the games what have made them so special. So now I know the game. I didn’t know it before. And the tone is spectacular. I mean it’s so dark and so witty and so whimsical as well. It’s so in on the joke and kind of like impudent. There’s a ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude to the game, and that’s what we rescued and put into the movie so I’m very excited for the fans of the game to see it and see how respectful we were to the tone of the game.”
Taking that at face value, that means the Deadpool-esque, devil-may-care feeling of the game was a priority in this adaptation, which I don’t doubt. Mazin is a very talented writer and as a dedicated listener to his podcast, Scriptnotes, I can verify his gamer credentials. I mean, the man is currently doing The Last of Us. He knows his stuff.
Roth is also a good fit for this world. He has the right sense of humor and willingness to go to some ridiculous places. This is the man who introduced a slow-motion karate scene featuring a young pancakes-obsessed child in his low-budget debut horror movie, after all.
I believe them about the tone. I’m sure they’ve got that right. Now my big question is how it looks. The game is cel-shaded which gives it a distinct look that many have tried to copy afterward. Can Roth bring that visual eye candy to a full feature? I guess we’ll see.
Borderlands is slated to come out next year.
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