Borderlands movie the first in a cinematic universe, says Gearbox Software boss

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In the wake of the new trailer this week, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford has said Borderlands is merely the start of a ‘cinematic universe’.

Already a popular series of shooter videogames, Borderlands and its colourful line in humour is being brought to cinemas by Eli Roth. And, as the first trailer finally emerged this week after a series of delays – filming on Borderlands originally began in 2021 – Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford has said it’s but one chapter in a much larger cinematic universe.

Pitchford, whose studio made the original games and also serves as an executive producer on this summer’s Borderlands film, talked to IGN about the ambitious plans in place to turn the shooter series into a broader movie franchise.

“One of the cool things about the movie is we’ve created a cinematic universe that lives side by side with the video game universe,” Pitchford said. “And of course, the characters are there and authentic in the themes and even some of the storylines. But they’re independent storylines.”

One of the examples Pitchford uses is the character Deukalian Atlas, a tech billionaire CEO of the in-universe Atlas Corporation. Never depicted in the videogames, Atlas is played in the upcoming movie by Edgar Ramirez.

“The Borderlands movie is the first of the Borderlands Cinematic Universe and you’ll see some characters from some of the different parts of what you might know from the video games,” Pitchford said. “But it also gives us an opportunity to get deeper and expand a little bit. You never met the CEO of the Atlas Corporation and you will meet that character for the first time in the Borderlands movie and his name is Deukalian Atlas.”

Of course, the road of history is littered with the shells of planned cinematic universes that came to nought – Universal’s Dark Universe of interlinked monster movies immediately springs to mind – and those blueprints for a Borderlands franchise inevitably hinge on the debut film’s reception in a few months’ time.

Still, Pitchford is upbeat about Borderlands' prospects. “We deal with some serious stuff and there’s real human emotions and it’s a story about the family you make instead of the family you’re born with, and dealing with loyalty and allegiances and real stuff,” he enthused. “There’s real stuff in here. So prepare to laugh. We got the gags.”

Borderlands is out in cinemas on the 9th August.

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