Eli Roth to Direct ‘Borderlands’ Movie Based on Video Game Series at Lionsgate

“Chernobyl” writer Craig Mazin wrote most recent draft of screenplay based on games from Gearbox Software and publisher 2K

Getty Images/Gearbox Software
Getty Images/Gearbox Software

Eli Roth is set to direct a movie based on the popular video game trilogy “Borderlands” from Gearbox Software and publisher 2K that will be set up at Lionsgate, the studio’s motion picture group president Nathan Kahane and president of motion picture production Erin Westerman announced Thursday.

“Borderlands,” which was first announced as a movie as far back as 2015, is an irreverent and visceral first person shooter and role-playing 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.

“Chernobyl” screenwriter Craig Mazin wrote the most recent draft of the screenplay. Roth joins producers Avi Arad and Ari Arad, who are producing through their Arad Productions banner, and Erik Feig, through his PICTURESTART banner.

Production is expected to begin on the “Borderlands” movie later this year.

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.

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 8 million copies.

“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. I have a long, successful history with Lionsgate – I feel like we have grown up together and that everything in my directing career has led to a project of this scale and ambition,” Roth said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing my own energy, ideas, and vision to the wild, fun, and endlessly creative world of the game. Randy Pitchford and everyone at Gearbox have been incredibly supportive of my ideas – it really feels like a perfect storm of creators coming together.  We are out to make a new classic, one which the fans of the game will love, but also one which will find new audiences globally.”

“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,” Kahane said in a statement.

“I’m incredibly proud we can bring this beloved video game to theaters for our fans around the world. Eli and Craig, already accomplished and remarkable visionaries, will be amazing stewards of Gearbox’s innovative Borderlands characters and stories,” Pitchford said in a statement.

James Myers is overseeing the project on behalf of Lionsgate. Emmy Yu is overseeing the film for Arad Productions. Lucy Kitada will oversee the project for PICTURESTART. The “Borderlands” series is published by 2K, a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Roth most recently directed the family film “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” for Amblin Entertainment, which grossed $130 million worldwide, as well as the remake of “Death Wish” starring Bruce Willis for MGM and Annapurna. The “Hostel” director previously paired with Lionsgate on “Cabin Fever” and “Knock Knock.”

Roth is represented by WME and Carlos Goodman Of Goodman, Genow Schenkman, Smelkinson and Christopher.