×

‘Borderlands’ Videogame Movie in Works at Lionsgate

Lionsgate is developing a tentpole movie based on the videogame “Borderlands,” with producers Avi and Ari Arad.

Borderlands,” launched in 2009, is a role-playing first-person shooter videogame created and developed by Gearbox Software and published by Take-Two Interactive Software’s 2K label. More than 26 million copies of the game have been shipped worldwide, including 8 million during Take-Two’s 2015 fiscal year, which ended March 31.

The game is set on the frontier of a sci-fi universe — the planet of Pandora — which has been abandoned by a mega-corporation prior to the game events.

Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad have been involved in the creation of the film franchises for Iron Man, Spider Man, The Amazing Spider Man, X-Men, Ghost Rider and Blade.

Lionsgate made a major push last year into videogames when it named Nerdist Industries CEO Peter Levin as president of interactive ventures and games.

“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,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “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.”

Friday’s announcement comes less than three months before Lionsgate opens its fourth and final film in its highly successful “Hunger Games” franchise, which has grossed $2.3 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio’s Summit label generated $3.3 billion from its five-film “Twilight Saga.” And it has grossed more than $550 million from the first two films in its four-film “Divergent Series.”

“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,” Take-Two Interactive Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said. “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.”

Avi Arad founded Marvel Studios in 1993 and resigned 13 years later to form his own production company, where Ari Arad is the president. He’s continuing to produce some of the Marvel films, such as the “Spider-Man” titles, along with videogame adaptations such as “Uncharted” and “Ghost in the Shell.”

His first feature outside Marvel was 2007’s “Bratz: The Movie,” which was released by Lionsgate.

Movies based on videogames have not yet achieved blockbuster status in Hollywood. Disney’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is the highest grosser, with $337 million worldwide on a $200 million budget in 2010.

The deal was orchestrated by a Lionsgate team led by Peter Levin, Summit Entertainment President of Production Geoff Shaevitz and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President of Business and Legal Affairs Patricia Laucella.

The news about Lionsgate acquiring the rights to “Borderlands” was first reported by The Tracking Board.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content