Lionsgate Films announced that they’re teaming up with Gearbox Software to bring their game Borderlands to a theater near you. The company is aiming to position the film as a major tentpole event, although they didn’t indicate when the film would come out.
“We believe that we’ve brought together the right partners, the ideal creative team and the perfect property to launch a new motion picture tent-pole for a global audience,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “Part 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 Borderlands games don’t pull any punches, and we’ll make the movie with the same in-your-face attitude that has made the series a blockbuster mega-franchise.”
The game takes place in the far future on a planet at the edge of the galaxy, where prospectors are aiming to strike it rich. Along the way, the planet Pandora was abandoned, leaving behind a lawless culture. As the planet circled closer to its parent sun, the planet’s original inhabitants begin to awake from a long hibernation. This certainly looks as though it could be good material for a film: lots of action, plenty of space horror, and a large fan base for the games.
Interestingly, Take-Two hints that this could be more than a movie project:
“Our Borderlands franchise continues to grow in popularity, and we’ve assembled a team with the strengths needed to introduce this amazing cross-platform property to a whole new global audience,” said Take-Two Interactive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Strauss Zelnick.
It’ll be interesting to see if this will truly be a cross-platform event. Such things have been done in the past: SyFy’s television show Defiance was a video game and television event that influenced one another, although I don’t think that it’s been done with major films. At the very least, the team involved makes it pretty clear that the game developers will be involved.
We’ll see if this is any good: very few video games have turned out to be the basis for good cinema, but we’ll wait and see what happens with Duncan Jones’ Warcraft. Personally, I’m holding out for a major Halo movie.