The Borderlands movie adaptation has officially been delayed out of 2023, amidst uncertainty in the American film industry, and following reports of major post-production turmoil for the project. The Lionsgate film will now launch in cinemas worldwide on 9 August 2024, three years after initial filming concluded.
While not unexpected, given no trailer or details beyond a single teaser image have been revealed so far, the timing of the announcement is fairly strange. While it does align with recently pushbacks and filming pauses for a variety of films, as SAG-AFTRA and WGA members strike for fairer working conditions, the Borderlands film was only recently thrust back into the spotlight, thanks to a writer controversy.
As revealed in early July 2023, writer Craig Mazin – known for his award-winning work on Chernobyl and HBO’s The Last of Us – recently chose to remove his name from the film’s credits, instead choosing to go under a moniker. While not strictly a comment on the quality of the Borderlands film, it did raise concerns, as the move suggests Mazin no longer wants to be associated with the film, or that it’s deviated so far from the original script in post-production that his work is no longer recognisable.
In either case, there’s some cause for worry.
While very early teasers for the film have shown off what appears to be accurate costumes – character silhouettes are very recognisable, and bring hope for some elaborate and well-designed creations – the long development and reportedly rigorous post-production work suggests tempered expectations are key.
There is certainly potential for a Borderlands film adaptation to work. The original Gearbox games are colourful, over-the-top adventures with a unique visual aesthetic and strong, creative storytelling. Should the upcoming Lionsgate adaptation capture even a fraction of the franchise’s legacy, then the Borderlands movie could still be a wild and fun ride.
For now, we’ll have to wait a lot longer to see what exactly is cooking behind the scenes.
The Borderlands movie adaptation will now launch on 9 August 2024.