Kevin Hart is joining the previously-announced Cate Blanchett in the feature film adaptation of popular video game franchise, Borderlands. Hart will play Roland, a skilled ex-soldier-turned-mercenary, in the film which is in the works at Lionsgate with Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Death Wish) directing.
The first Borderlands game was released in 2009. The series is a role-playing first-person shooter game set on the frontier of a sci-fi universe – the planet of Pandora, but not the Avatar one – which has been abandoned by a mega-corporation prior to the game’s events. The series, which primarily consists of three installments, has sold more than 57 million units worldwide.
Even though Hart is a world famous comedian, this is the latest role he’s signed on for that’s out of his typical comedic wheelhouse. He’s already on board to star in upcoming drama Fatherhood, while he recently starred alongside Bryan Cranston in comedy-drama The Upside. He’s not totally leaving comedy films behind though, as he’s also on board to star in action-comedy The Man From Toronto.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Kevin”, said Roth. “Borderlands is a different kind of role for him, and we are excited to thrill audiences with a side of Kevin they’ve never seen before. He’s going to be an amazing Roland”. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane added:
“Kevin has been behind some of the world’s biggest blockbusters, and our source material is inspired by one of the world’s best-selling video games. We love the way our filmmaking team has adapted this story and we couldn’t be in better creative hands”.
Historically, adapting popular, action-based games like Borderlands and expecting them to be similarly successful on the big screen has been a mistake. Lionsgate will be hoping this is the exception. With Blanchett and Hart starring, Roth directing, and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin writing the screenplay, they’re giving the project every chance to be successful.