With very, very few exceptions, film adaptations of video games have primarily operated somewhere in the “disappointing” to “embarrassing failure” range. But nobody tell Hostel and Cabin Fever director Eli Roth about that, because he’s putting together a cast for his film version of the bestselling video game Borderlands that appears to be punching way above its weight class. Horror film icon Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Knives Out) is the latest addition to this hyper-talented cast, which also includes Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart. What a trio!
The original Borderlands video game, which was released in 2009, followed a group of “Vault Hunters” looking for an alien vault on the planet of Pandora. (Despite debuting in the same year, there’s no relation to the Pandora depicted in James Cameron’s Avatar). Set in the distant future, when mega-corporations seek control of planets to colonize and mine for their natural resources, the players are sent in to battle the local wildlife and bandit population as they fight to stop the head of a private corporation army from reaching the alien vault before they do. The game spawned three sequels – Borderlands 2 in 2012, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in 2014, and Borderlands 3 in 2019.
According to a press release, “Curtis will play Tannis, an archeologist on Pandora who might have the key to finding the vault, but whose complicated history with Lilith (Blanchett) isn’t going to help.”
“Working with the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis has been a life long dream of mine, and I am so excited for her to bring her humor, warmth and brilliance to the role of Tannis,” Roth said in a statement.
Tannis is a non-playable character who is much younger in the games, which is an interesting change the film appears to be making. The Borderlands wiki describes her as autistic, with some of her traits being “lack of empathy, echolalia, unusual vocal inflection, difficulty with social cues, and hyperfixation on her research and special interests.” In the game storyline, she suffered several psychotic breaks after most of her colleagues died on Pandora and even after her employer left the planet, she stayed behind because she became obsessed with finding the alien vault. Her loneliness led her to develop emotional attachments to inanimate objects, so maybe this will be Curtis’s opportunity to pull a “Tom Hanks in Castaway” and put her own twist on the Wilson volleyball dynamic.
Kevin Hart will play a stoic soldier named Roland, in a role that will show audiences a different side of him than the typical motor-mouthed jokester.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: ‘Borderlands’ Movie Cast Adds ‘Halloween’ and ‘Knives Out’ Star Jamie Lee Curtis’
Author: Ben Pearson
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February 9, 2021