Kevin Hart has officially joined the cast of “Borderlands,” the adaptation of the popular video game franchise that will star Cate Blanchett and is being directed by Eli Roth.
Hart was first rumored to be involved in the film back in December by The Illuminerdi, and his deal has now closed after months of negotiations. Hart will play Roland, a skilled ex-soldier turned mercenary, in what will be a more dramatic turn for the comedian.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Kevin,” Roth said in a statement. “‘Borderlands’ is a different kind of role for him, and we are excited to thrill audiences with a side of Kevin they’ve never seen before. He’s going to be an amazing Roland.”
“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 latest draft of the screenplay for the “Borderlands” film is by “Chernobyl’s” Craig Mazin. Avi Arad and Ari Arad are producing through their Arad Productions banner, with Erik Feig also producing through Picturestart.
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.
Hart recently signed a massive film deal with Netflix to star in and produce at least four films, after his stand-up special “Zero F***s Given” was viewed by 21 million homes in its first four weeks and was one of the most watched stand-up specials on the service. He’ll also be seen in “The Man From Toronto” from Sony.
Robert Melnik negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate. Hart is represented by 3 Arts, UTA, Viewpoint and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.