E3 2021: An update on the much-awaited ‘Borderlands’ movie

‘Borderlands’ based on the popular gaming series from Gearbox Software and 2K Games promises to be a star-studded riot featuring Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart and Janina Gavankar

June 14, 2021 10:25 pm | Updated June 15, 2021 12:27 pm IST

A teaser image of the cast of ‘Borderlands’ in their costumes, in silhouette

A teaser image of the cast of ‘Borderlands’ in their costumes, in silhouette

Those who virtually tuned into E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo) 2021 would have seen some updates to the 2022 feature film Borderlands (Arad Productions and Picturestart) during the Gearbox E3 Showcase on June 13.

Read More | The gaming highlights that ruled E3 2021

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford took attendees on a behind-the-scenes tour of the live set featuring a blurred splotch which Gearbox says ‘may or may not be Ariana Greenblatt (young Gamora, Avengers Endgame ) as Tiny Tina.’

Cate Blanchett plays Lilith, an infamous outlaw with impressive powers, who is the movie's main character. Audiences will follow Lilith’s quest to return to the planet of Pandora and recover the missing daughter — who may hold the key to unimaginable power — of “the universe’s most powerful S.o.B., Atlas (played by Édgar Ramírez).” On her journey, Lilith must band together with some unlikely and unusual allies while fighting alien monsters and bandits.

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The gaming series and film have ‘space western science fantasy’ settings but those unfamiliar with the game can still easily dive into the movie, assures Pitchford during the showcase. He also confirms that the film is about two-thirds of the way done shooting. “We’ve been in the desert, in the sand quarries, in the stone quarries doing all kinds of amazing stuff,” he adds.

He was joined by actor Ramírez and states, “His character Atlas exists hypothetically in the game; we’ve never met him in real life or in the game, meaning we’ll meet Atlas for the first time.”

Director Eli Roth, who was present on the set, asserts, “There’ll be lots of bloods, lots of guts – totally bonkers. We want to make a great science-fiction movie, not just a great video game adaptation movie. We want this to be a gateway drug for non-Borderlands fans,” as he twirls an authentic Vladof Infinity prop gun. Roth says he saw Blanchett and Jack Black (who is set to play Claptrap in Borderlands) in The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) and loved how they brought out comedy and drama in each other.

An extreme ensemble

Though we did not see her in the virtual showcase, starring as one of the main characters Commander Knoxx in the film is Indian-origin Janina Gavankar. She is no stranger to the gaming industry, having appeared in big hits such as Star Wars: Battlefront II , Horizon Zero Dawn and Far Cry 4. She has also starred in The Morning Show , The Way Back (2020) and True Blood .

Read More | Janina Gavankar on how working on video games can be more fun than live-action

Kevin Hart, who will be playing Roland (a former elite mercenary of the Crimson Lance) in the movie, also made an appearance during the behind-the scenes reveal, though not in costume. “You have no idea what's under this jacket,” Hart says.

Also in the film are Cheyenne Jackson as Jakobs, Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Patricia Tannis, Gina Gershon as Moxxi, Florian Munteanu as Tiny Tina’s musclebound protector, Krieg, and Haley Bennett whose character is yet to be revealed.

The film’s cinematography is by Rogier Stoffers, production design by Oliver Scholl, and costumes by Daniel Orlandi. However, there is no word yet as to who will be in charge of the film’s score but we hope it will be BAFTA-winning Jesper Kyd who composed the very-memorable scores for the video games as well, and was nominated for a Game Audio Network Guild Award for Borderlands 3’s score .

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