EXCLUSIVE: After word circulated today on the fanboy sites that Eli Roth has been supplanted by Deadpool’s Tim Miller on the long-gestating Lionsgate vidgame adaptation Borderlands, allow Deadline to lend a little insight to what is actually happening. Roth handed over the reins on two weeks of reshoots to his pal Miller, because he has to get going with Thanksgiving, the horror film based on a mock trailer that Roth made for the Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse film. Roth has not been fired, despite a flurry of speculative reports to the contrary.
The Thanksgiving trailer presented the gory teaser about a pseudo movie in which a slasher makes his own carving board out of the inhabitants of a Massachusetts town that makes a big annual fuss over the annual turkey day. One of the pivotal scenes involved Roth himself, separated from his head while in the throes of passion with a date in a convertible. It was popular enough that plans formulated to make a feature-length blood feast with Roth at the helm, but 15 years has passed since the original Grindhouse release and you could be forgiven for thinking that Thanksgiving was never coming.
It’s here. Shooting will begin in March with a script by Jeff Rendell, with Spyglass behind it. Roger Birnbaum and Roth are producing.
Deadline hears that Miller, in an amicable handing of the baton, will do a couple weeks worth of reshoots on Borderlands, which has taken a long time to find its way to the screen.
In the movie, Lilith (played by Cate Blanchett before she filmed Tár, the movie that has made her a Best Actress frontrunner), is an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B. Atlas (Edgar Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Kevin Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Ariana Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Florian Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Jack Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.
Based on the game from Gearbox and 2K, one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time, the script is by Craig Mazin and Roth. Avi Arad and Ari Arad are producing through their Arad Productions banner, with Erik Feig also producing through PictureStart. The film’s executive producers are Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the Borderlands video game franchise and founder of the Gearbox Entertainment Company, and Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive.
Watch the Thanksgiving trailer.