Today, via Variety, Lionsgate announced that its next tentpole film event will be a live-action adaptation of Borderlands, the hit game franchise that has spawned multiple mini-stories, sequels and prequels for half a decade. At the helm is superhero film veteran, director Avi Arad, and his son, Ari Arad.
The studio took a deep dive into the development of video game franchises to film when it hired Nerdist Industries CEO Peter Levin as president of interactive ventures and games, and Borderlands -- recognizable for its outlandish characters, stunning art style, and outrageous combat -- is a shoe-in when it comes to having a strong fanbase to support the film.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger promised to deliver a story true to the game's franchise, with fans in mind:
Part of our strategy in entering the game space under Peter Levin has been to source new brands with built-in audiences that will translate into great films and television shows... 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.
With knock-out franchises among young adults and the geek community such as The Hunger Games, The Divergent Series, and the Twilight Saga, it's no wonder why the studio is moving even deeper into the geek space to cultivate passionate fans that respond to movies that they feel stand alongside the original source material.
Take-Two Interactive Chairman and CEO, Strauss Zelnick, explained the expansion:
Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace with an incredible portfolio of brands; our partners at Gearbox have pioneered and cultivated an iconic property; and Avi and Ari Arad are two of the most successful producers of action franchises. This alliance is ideally positioned to create a bold, provocative, no-holds-barred motion picture phenomenon that will delight ‘Borderlands” current legions of fans and captivate moviegoers around the world.
Few previous video game franchises have really taken off on the big screen, so while the idea is a little risky, Lionsgate's previous successes show that the studio listens to fans and knows how to bring a solid, faithful adaptation to life.
Borderlands has no release date and is currently in early development.