Cate Blanchett has closed a deal to star in the film adaptation of the video game “Borderlands” that is going forward at Lionsgate from director Eli Roth, Lionsgate announced Thursday. The Wrap first reported that Blanchett was in talks on May 5.
Blanchett will play the role of Lilith in the film, a siren and legendary thief equipped with magical skills and one of the original video game’s several playable characters and protagonists.
Roth is directing the film from the most recent draft of the screenplay by “Chernobyl” screenwriter Craig Mazin. Roth is also producing, as are Avi Arad and Ari Arad, who are producing through their Arad Productions banner, and Erik Feig, through his PICTURESTART banner.
Gearbox Software and 2K’s “Borderlands,” which was first announced as a movie as far back as 2015, is an irreverent and visceral first-person shooter and roleplaying game about four “Vault Hunters” on a planet called Pandora who battle against local bandits and marauders in their search for a hidden vault rumored to contain advanced alien technology. Lilith belongs to the “Siren” class of warriors who is from the planet Dionysus and is one of only six women in the galaxy to contain unbelievable powers. Though she’s a playable character in the first game, she’s only a non-player character in the subsequent sequels.
The film’s executive producers are Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the Borderlands video game franchise and founder of Gearbox Software, and Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive.
“I’m so lucky to have the amazing Cate Blanchett starring in ‘Borderlands.’ We had the most incredible collaboration together on ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls,’ and I believe there’s nothing she can’t do. From drama to comedy and now action, Cate makes every scene sing. Working with her is truly a director’s dream come true, and I feel so fortunate that I get to do it again on an even bigger scale. Everyone brings their A-game to work with Cate, and I know together we’re going to create another iconic character in her already storied career,” the director Roth said in a statement.
The three “Borderlands” games have sold more than 57 million units worldwide, including 22 million units of the 2012 game “Borderlands 2,” which still draws one million players every month. The most recent game, “Borderlands 3,” was released last September and has already sold eight million copies.
The two-time Oscar winner Blanchett currently stars in the series “Mrs. America” as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly during the Equal Rights Amendment movement in the 1970s. She’s also attached to star in Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley,” which was forced to shut down production due to the coronavirus.
Blanchett is represented by CAA and RGM Artists.
Variety was first to report the casting news back on May 5.