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The Borderlands Movie Looks Um…Hmm…Well…

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard or seen anything about that Borderlands movie starring Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kevin Hart. So it was great to finally get our first real look at the cast in some new screenshots and oh… oh no.

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Borderlands is an upcoming film adaptation of the Borderlands video game series. Film studio Lionsgate has been trying to make a movie based on the popular sci-fi looter-shooter franchise since 2015. Finally, after years of start and stop, this version directed by Eli Roth (Hostel) was announced back in 2019, started casting in 2020, and then began filming in April 2021. The movie wrapped up production in June of that same year. In January 2023, following reported test screenings, two weeks of reshoots were ordered. This additional filming was led by Deadpool director Tim Miller and not Roth. So yeah, you could say the Borderlands movie has been in production hell for a few years. But it was all worth it, right? Right?

On February 20, People revealed the first exclusive screenshots of the upcoming film, which is slated to land in theaters this August. One image shows Cate Blanchett as Lillith, a powerful vault hunter who—in the games—is armed with weapons and space magic. Blanchett sports Lillith’s bright red hair in both People-exclusive screenshots and is seen wearing an outfit that feels a bit generic and not very Borderlands-y to me.

The second image is the more exciting one as it shows the main cast looking down a well together. In the image, we get our first real look at Kevin Hart as Roland, Jack Black as Claptrap, Curtis as Tannis, Ariana Greenblatt as Tiny Tina, and Florian Munteanu as Krieg. And Blanchett’s Lilith is hanging out with the gang, too.

As someone who considers themselves a Borderlands fan, I’m not excited at all about this first look at the movie. (Yes, I even think the games are funny and sometimes well-written when they stop trying to be “LOL RANDOM.”)

Of course, this is just one image from a larger film and this screenshot might not be representative of what the finished film looks like, but right now this looks like a pre-recorded SNL parody that we’d cover the following Monday. It looks weirdly low-budget and clean and boring. It reminds me of those awful fan posters that always pop up online around big movies. The posters that photoshop actors into pre-existing art, look fine, but you can tell the person who made them didn’t care. Yeah, that’s the vibe I’m getting from these first looks. Not good. It also doesn’t help that these images look like they come from two different movies, which might kinda be the case based on the production history and reshoots.

I was already not sold on a Borderlands film this many years after the franchise had seemingly hit its pop culture zenith—this feels like a movie that fell out of 2017—and these new images haven’t got me any more hyped to see Borderlands when it hits theaters on August 9, 2024.

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