Could the ‘Borderlands’ movie be the first good video game movie?
Video game movies have a history of disappointing the viewers who flock to theaters because of their love for the original game franchise. Something about translating an interactive game into a passive watching experience seems to create a disconnect that leaves fans wanting.
From the Assassin’s Creed movie everyone seems to have collectively forgotten about to the World of Warcraft movie that tanked in the U.S. box office there are very few video game movies that have received praise. (The Witcher doesn’t count because it’s an episodic show and it’s actually based on the original books.)
We’ve been getting a lot of news about the upcoming Borderlands movie lately, and while we’re cautiously optimistic, we have to admit that the longer we think about the information we have, the more we’re a little nervous.
The latest casting news
The big update we’ve gotten this week is that one of the queens of Hollywood has been added to the cast – Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis will be playing the role of Tannis, a conniving and intelligent archaeologist.
While we absolutely adore Jamie Lee Curtis and think she can tackle any role with success, we do wonder how this will play with viewers (including ourselves). Tannis in the games looks to be in her mid-thirties, which would match the approximate ages for the rest of the characters.
Jamie Lee Curtis is about twice that age at 62. It makes us wonder what story they intend to tell with the Borderlands movie. We think it’s increasingly likely fans will feel the movie seems unrelated to the games – a problem many game adaptations seem to have.
Other cast members
Other cast members include Cate Blanchette and Kevin Hart – and no, Hart isn’t playing Clap Trap. Blanchette will be playing Lilith and Hart will be playing Roland.
Again, Blanchette is the kind of actress we believe could nail pretty much anything you throw her way and we know that Blanchette can do bad*ss, butt kicking roles. However, again, Blanchette is 51 and the character people have come to know & love is believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s.
We can’t help but wonder if the Borderlands movie is taking place in the game universe’s future. Which – if that is the case – could be incredibly interesting. It would feel more like Tale from the Borderlands did when it was first released.
However, Kevin Hart as Roland put the internet in an absolute tizzy because, well – he looks nothing like the character from the games. While Hart is actually close to the estimated age of the character (which puts our movie theory on its head) he is substantially shorter (sorry bud), not nearly as buff, and isn’t exactly known for his matching personality.
Roland is a gruff & serious man whereas Hart is an actual comedian. We know Hart can do serious roles – we’ve seen him in The Upside – but comedy is his bread & butter. With Clap Trap sitting right there we can’t help but think he’d be kind of perfect for the sassy motor-mouthed robot. (We’ll take Ryan Reynolds as Clap Trap though.) Idris Elba was thrown around as a better fit for Roland by Twitter users and we kind of agree.
What’s the movie’s fate?
The casting news has a lot of fans bemoaning the idea that the choice in actors for the various announced roles is indicative that the creators of the Borderlands movie don’t really understand the game or care about it much.
While we can’t know if that’s true or not we understand the confusion & concern. It’d be a shame if the phenomenal games that take place in a well-crafted & exciting universe were to be adapted poorly like many other video game movies before it.
We previously wrote about some of the casting news with enthusiasm because we want to be excited and we want the movie to be good. However, the more we think about it and receive more news, the more we worry the Borderlands movie will end up in the pile of other discarded & disliked game adaptations.