Eli Roth is, for Better or Worse, Directing the Borderlands Film

The Hostel director has been tapped to lead Lionsgate's adaptation of the Borderlands game franchise.

Randy Pitchford and horror film vet Eli Roth announced yesterday that Roth will direct the blockbuster adaptation of Borderlands. The announcement came with the above questionable photoshop of Roth onto a Borderlands character. 

Roth is most well-known as the director of the Hostel movies. Most recently, he directed The House with a Clock in Its Walls, which didn’t do too badly, nor was it actually particularly panned by critics. Nowadays, Roth’s respected for his horror expertise, as he even created and hosted Eli Roth’s History of Horror, a documentary-like exploration of the genre exclusively produced for horror-focused streaming service Shudder. (The show was renewed for a second season.)

It seems Roth can’t shake off his reputation for Hostel. At least The House with a Clock in Its Walls shows some promise for Eli’s imagination. And Roth’s pretty excited about the whole venture, too.

“I’m so excited to dive into the world of Borderlands and I couldn’t be doing it with a greater script, producing workforce, and studio,” Roth explained in a press release. “I’ve an extended, profitable historical past with Lionsgate – I really feel like we now have grown up collectively and that the whole lot in my directing profession has led to a venture of this scale and ambition.”

It looks like Roth has already been closely working with Gearbox in pre-development as the team comes together to pitch concepts.

“I look ahead to bringing my very own vitality, concepts, and imaginative and prescient to the wild, enjoyable, and endlessly artistic world of the game,” Roth said. “Randy Pitchford and everybody at Gearbox have been extremely supportive of my concepts – it actually looks like an ideal storm of creators coming collectively. We are out to make a brand new traditional, one which the followers of the game will love, but additionally one which can discover new audiences globally.”

Production for this Borderlands adaption has been long in the works, as Lionsgate officially announced the movie back in 2005. At the time, the company announced it’d acquired producer Avi Arad, who produced most of the recent Spider-man blockbuster flicks including Into the Spider-Verse, as well as the 2008 Iron Man film and many, many recent Marvel flicks.

In that original 2005 announcement, Lionsgate explained that Borderlands’s eccentric and blunt humor felt appealing as blockbuster vibes.

“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,” Lionsgate co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger explained in a press release at the time.

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To be fair, Lionsgate has been known to make some pretty interesting publishing choices. On one hand, it was responsible for The Hunger Games, Twilight, John Wick, and La La Land, as well as Knives Out for the movie buffs and Saw for the horror nerds out there.  On the other hand, it thought a Hostel sequel was a good idea, and it sure as hell made a Bratz flick. And who can forget Repo! The Genetic Opera? (Not me. I love that movie. I will die for it.)

And meanwhile, video game movies have been pretty hit-or-miss. Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog did a helluva job mixing real-world and fictional elements to make an engaging experience. But unfortunately, we haven’t had fantastic luck with real-world action adaptations thus far. At least the Mortal Kombat ones make for good trash watching, right?

We’re praying that the Borderlands flick changes things. Not because I care to see this; more so because I don’t want to have to groan about this in a few years. See you on Pandora.

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Victoria Rose

Victoria is a Brooklyn-based, chaotic-good former dungeon master and a Contributor-At-Large for Fanbyte. She's a self-proclaimed esports pundit, and used to do Dota 2 news and reporting as a full-time part-time gig. She's also four red pandas stacked in a hoodie. [she/her/hers or they/their/theirs]

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