Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford confirms the upcoming Borderlands movie will not take place in the same universe as the video game.
In a Twitter post made on April 6, Pitchford shared a brief statement following the release of the film’s official plot. A release date for the Borderlands film has yet to be announced.
“To the interested: The Borderlands Cinematic Universe is not identical to the Borderlands Video Game Universe. We are authentic to characters, tone and style, but allow for independent storylines. The mediums are not the same, so the content should not be bound to the same rules.”Randy Pitchford
Pitchford’s statement has since faced criticism from gamers. One of them even accused Gearbox of deciding to “pee all over something we love.”
The plot summary revealed that the movie was diverging from the plot of the game series, mainly by introducing a mostly unseen character called Atlas as the main antagonist. He will be the founder of the Borderlands Cinematic Universe’s largest weapons manufacturer.
Fans also pointed out the lack of mention of a Vault, sources of alien technology that act as something of a Holy Grail for the protagonists of the Borderlands games, and also Handsome Jack, the villain most associated with the series. Lionsgate revealed yesterday that actor Edgar Ramirez will play the role of Atlas.
According to an IGN report, a part of the synopsis says that the film’s characters will unite to become a group of unlikely heroes who “must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect a missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands, but they’ll be fighting for something more—each other.”
While fans may be dissatisfied with the decision, it makes sense to start a fresh continuity for the movie. Filmmakers have had a hard time trying to bring up characters and new sci-fi worlds to audiences without distressing about explaining character backstories that span over four or five games.
Dropping the continuity baggage enables the movie to captivate a broader audience to theaters, including people who have never heard of the video game in the first place.
Hollywood has a long-standing history of modifying any IP they can get their hands on and finding a project with a built-in audience. Prior to Borderlands, the audience saw Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Warcraft meet middling success at best. Even when such a movie performs fairly at the box office, critical reception is often low.
However, that trend has been improving in recent years. There has been a decrease in video game film adaptations being critically panned, the reception has improved, and the box office has gone up as well.
The cast for the film includes Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr Tannis, Cate Blanchett as Lilith, Jack Black as Claptrap, Ariana Greenblatt as Tiny Tina, Florian Munteanu as Krieg, and Kevin Hart as Roland.
Borderlands is an upcoming American science fiction action comedy film directed by Eli Roth and written by Craig Mazin, based on the action role-playing first-person shooter video game franchise. The film stars Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart in main roles and is set to be distributed by Lionsgate.
The video game is set in space western science fantasy setting, created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games for multiple platforms. Each game typically follows a group of “Vault Hunters” as they explore the planet of Pandora for Vaults that contain riches and very advance tech.
Pandora is a violent planet with lots of alien creatures, mega-corporations, and a faction of outlaws and bandits literally called Psychos, so most situations devolve into a shootout. It’s a franchise known for its memorable characters, so fans should get a kick out of seeing many of them realized in film.