In a list of top ten most fitting video games to adapt to the big screen, I’d say the “Borderlands” series is at least somewhere near the list. It may not be incredibly familiar to non-gamers, but for what the series lacks in brand recognition (for a mainstream audience, at least), it most definitely makes up for in tone and spirit. Lionsgate, the studio that brought you the “Hunger Games” franchise, has taken note of this, and is now developing a film based on the award-winning video game series. The film will be developed under the guidance of veteran producers Avi and Ari Arad, both of whom have their roots in comic book movies such as “Iron Man,” “Ghost Rider,” “X-Men,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger spoke on this recent development:
â€œPart of our strategy in entering the game space under Peter Levin has been to source new brands with built-in audiences that will translate into great films and television shows. The â€˜Borderlandsâ€™ games donâ€™t pull any punches, and weâ€™ll make the movie with the same in-your-face attitude that has made the series a blockbuster mega-franchise.â€
In your face is right. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, “Borderlands” is a science fiction/steampunk western video game. Along with its cool cel-shaded art style, It’s got an incredibly violent and tongue-in-cheek tone. If I were to compare it cinematically to something, I’d say it’s a strange cross between “Mad Max” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Along with “Uncharted” and “Assassin’s Creed,” it may be one of the more fitting franchises to adapt to the big screen.
Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO at Take-Two Interactive–the distributor of the video game franchise–said the following:
â€œLionsgate has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace with an incredible portfolio of brands; our partners at Gearbox have pioneered and cultivated an iconic property; and Avi and Ari Arad are two of the most successful producers of action franchises. This alliance is ideally positioned to create a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon that will delight â€˜Borderlandsâ€ current legions of fans and captivate moviegoers around the world.â€
“We’re thrilled to extend our partnership with Jon Feltheimer, Michael Burns, Rob, Patrick and the amazing team at Lionsgate and join forces with Take-Two and Gearbox on this incredible property,” said producers Avi and Ari Arad. “Borderlands has a unique story-driven narrative energy and rich multidimensional characters that position it to become a singular motion picture event.”
There is no word yet on what kind of adaptation this will be. Will they just take the name and basic premise and create a whole new story (a la “Assassin’s Creed“), or will this be a legit adaption of the “Borderlands” games? We’ll have to wait and see.
For those curious about what we can possibly expect from the flick, check out the opening from “Borderlands 2,” and you may have something of an idea.