Jack Black has joined Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart and Jamie Lee Curtis in the cast of “Borderlands,” the adaptation of the popular video game franchise that is set up at Lionsgate, Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group announced on Thursday.
Black will voice the role of Claptrap, a persistently sarcastic robot that isn’t all that invested in the survival of his teammates. Eli Roth is directing the film based on the video game franchise. With “Borderlands,” Black will re-team with Roth and Blanchett following their work together on the film “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” which opened No. 1 at the box office on its way to taking in over $130 million worldwide.
“I am so excited to reunite with Jack, this time in the recording booth,” said Roth in a statement to TheWrap. “Claptrap is the funniest character in the game, and Jack is perfect to bring him to the big screen.”
The latest draft of the “Borderlands” screenplay is by Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”). Avi Arad and Ari Arad are producing through their Arad Productions banner, with Erik Feig also producing through PICTURESTART.
“Borderlands” is based on the PC and console trilogy from Gearbox Software and publisher 2K. The series is a 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.
The “Borderlands” games have sold 66 million units sold-in worldwide, including over 24 million units of “Borderlands 2,” which is the highest selling title in the history of 2K. The most recent installment, “Borderlands 3,” launched in September 2019 and was recently released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. “Borderlands 3” has sold more than 11 million units worldwide and was honored with the award for Best Multiplayer Game at Gamescom 2019 and Best Ongoing Game at Gamescom 2020.
The film’s executive producers are Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the “Borderlands” video game franchise and founder of the Gearbox Entertainment Company, and Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive.
James Myers and Aaron Edmonds are overseeing the project on behalf of Lionsgate. Emmy Yu is overseeing the film for Arad Productions. Lucy Kitada and Royce Reeves-Darby are overseeing the project for PICTURESTART.
“We couldn’t have been more in sync with our filmmakers and casting executives as we approached this role,” added Kahane. “It’s one of the biggest no-brainer casting decisions we’ve ever made. Everyone who’s ever played the game knows Jack is perfect for this part. We’re thrilled he will add his endless comic energy and voice to our film – he’ll bring so much to the movie.”
Robert Melnik negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.
Black most recently reprised his role as Shelly Oberon in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” which took in over $800 million worldwide; Black is one of the cornerstones of the $1.7 billion franchise. Black’s upcoming work includes “Apollo 10½: A Space Age Adventure” for writer-director Richard Linklater.
Jack Black is represented by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.