Oh, Cate Blanchett Is Starring In The Borderlands Movie

Illustration for article titled Oh, Cate Blanchett Is Starring In The Borderlands Movie
Photo: Amy Sussman (Getty)

Well, this is awkward. Despite my best efforts to persuade her otherwise, Cate Blanchett has officially signed up to take part in the upcoming Borderlands movie, where she’ll be playing Lilith.

The news wasn’t announced by Blanchett or her people, but by director Eli Roth, who told EW “I’m so lucky to have the amazing Cate Blanchett starring in Borderlands.”

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No shit.

My ambivalence for this entire project has been made clear already—this is “an asshole directing a movie based on a series whose last outing was written for 11 year-old Rick & Morty fans”—and I think Blanchett is better than this.

But whatever, maybe this is why I write about video games for eight hours a day and don’t work as an agent in Hollywood.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

genejacket
Gene Jacket

I don’t hate Eli Roth, but he’s never done anything that made me pay any real attention to him as a filmmaker. He’s not necessarily bad at what he does, but what he does generally aren’t the kinds of things I enjoy.

I love Cate Blanchett, because who doesn’t, and watching her ham it up and have a ton of fun in a role like Lilith will likely be a treat. Let’s be honest, though, she’s 51, and obviously Lionsgate will want sequels if the first is successful. I can’t see her really wanting to be tied to an ongoing franchise for the next 5-10 years. Does she really want to be playing Lilith when she’s 60? It doesn’t make any sense, which makes me think the role is a one-off, and Lilith will likely be killed off in the first film.

Though I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, Craig Mazin does not inspire a ton of confidence as a screenwriter, as outside of Chernobyl he’s never written anything I would call “good”. Plus, Avi and Ari Arad are producing, so that’s a huge red flag. The biggest issue, as a huge Borderlands fan, is that the reported plot synopsis reads like a something that’s been Studio-noted to death before it’s even been shot.

The film is to follow the “legendary thief” Lilith, who has to rescue the Atlas Corporation’s CEO’s daughter, Tiny Tina, assisted by Claptrap, Tina’s bodyguard Krieg, and a group of vault hunters.

Like, what the for real fuck is that even? I’m fine with an adaptation using the source as a jumping off point and being it’s own thing, but this shit just gives me huge Resident Evil vibes. There is more than enough material in the games to do a faithful enough adaptation to please both hardcore fans and people who have no idea what the games are. Instead, we’re going to get some ill-advised bastardization that will likely please no one because the people making it don’t have any respect or reverence for the source material. It’s a cash grab, nothing more, and one that’s about 8 years too late.