HBO writer Craig Mazin removes name from Borderlands movie

Craig Mazin is no longer credited as a co-writer on the upcoming Borderlands film adaptation.
borderlands movie adaptation

The upcoming Borderlands movie adaptation has received updated credits, per the Writers Guild of America West – and it seems a major name is no longer included. As detailed, Craig Mazin, a prolific writer known for co-creating and co-writing HBO’s The Last of Us, and for creating and writing the award-winning Chernobyl, has removed his name from the film.

While originally credited as the co-writer of the film, Mazin’s name has been replaced with a pseudonym: ‘Joe Crombie’. An exact reason for this change has not been publicly revealed, but many have speculated that Mazin’s removal is in an effort to distance this project from his more highly regarded works.

The change, as noted by World of Reel, may also be related to alleged turmoil behind the scenes of the Borderlands movie. While filming was complete as of June 2021, concerns in post-production led to a wave of rewrites and reshoots in 2022, with Deadpool‘s Tim Miller brought on board, and various new writers reportedly hacking at the script.

Per World of Reel, writers including Gary Ross, Zak Olkewicz, Aaron Berg, Oren Uziel, Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Chris Bremner, and Sam Levinson all contributed to changes in post-production.

Read: Why is TV so much better than film at video game adaptations?

World of Reel speculates that Mazin has chosen to be credited under a pseudonym as production work has ensured sweeping changes to the original script. Pessimistically, it’s also easy to speculate that Mazin no longer wants to be associated with the film due to quality concerns.

According to insider reporting, movie test screens for Borderlands have so far gone poorly, with reshoots designed to address feedback leading to a truncated post-production cycle and low hopes for the upcoming film.

Since Borderlands began development, the quality bar for video game adaptations has risen significantly. HBO’s The Last of Us was a stunning and impactful retelling of one of gaming’s most emotional tales. Beyond being excellent adaptations, Netflix’s Castlevania and Arcane were also highly lauded for their animation, voice acting, and storytelling.

Whether the upcoming Borderlands film has a place against this backdrop remains to be seen. For now, the adaptation is allegedly stuck in post-production hell, with no clear path forward. Stay tuned for more news about this film – but don’t hold your breath for too long.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.