Start placing your bets on which celebrity will step in to voice Claptrap—today, Lionsgate and Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford announced that Eli Roth, director of the first two Hostel movies and one of the stars of 2009's Inglourious Basterds, will direct a film adaptation of Borderlands. Production is slated to begin later this year.
Lionsgate and producers Avi and Ari Arad, known for their involvement with several Marvel film franchises, first announced plans for a Borderlands film back in 2015. Variety reports that Emmy-winner Craig Mazin (Chernobyl, Scary Movie 3 & 4) has written the latest version of the film's script.
Randy Pitchford and Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick will serve as executive producers on the film. "I'm incredibly proud we can bring this beloved video game to theaters for our fans around the world," says Pitchford in a press release. "Eli and Craig, already accomplished and remarkable visionaries, will be amazing stewards of Gearbox's innovative Borderlands characters and stories."
Yesterday, Kotaku noticed that Pitchford had posted and then quickly removed a tweet announcing Roth's attachment to the project. Pitchford has since reposted the message, which notes that more details will be revealed at Gearbox's PAX East panel next week.
Roth's most recent directorial release is 2018's The House With a Clock in Its Walls, a children's fantasy film based on the novel by John Bellairs (Jack Black and Cate Blanchett star). His project before that, a remake of Death Wish starring Bruce Willis, was widely panned by critics and sparked a controversy over its perceived stance on America's gun debate.
Though the Borderlands film has been in development for quite some time, there's arguably been no better time in the series' history for Lionsgate and company to push ahead on a movie adaptation. Upon its release last year, Borderlands 3 became the fastest selling game in 2K's history, and the recent box office successes of Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog could be taken as a sign that Hollywood and audiences have turned a corner on video game movies. At the very least, the project hasn't spent years plagued by director turnover, as is the case with Sony's Uncharted—a film that could now end up released in the same year as Borderlands.
Disclosure: USG is owned by ReedPop, which runs PAX East.