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SYFY WIRE Borderlands

Borderlands movie wraps filming, releases first glimpse of Jack Black's Claptrap

By Josh Grossberg
Screengrab Borderlands 3 Claptrap Presents Pandora

It's a wrap on Pandora. No, we're not talking about James Cameron's sequel to his mega-opus, Avatar, but the other Pandora. You know, the one from Gearbox's mega-popular video game series, Borderlands.

Eli Roth's hotly anticipated film adaptation with an A-list cast including Cate BlanchettJamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, and his Jumanji cohort Jack Black has just completed principal photography. And what better way to mark the occasion than with the film's official Twitter page unveiling a first look at the game's wiseass robot, Claptrap?

"Claptrap wanted to let you all know he made it down the stairs safely. That production of #BorderlandsMovie has officially wrapped! See you at the theaters in 20—," reads the post, along with two bomb emojis and a pic of the loveable mascot holding up a film slate stating, "That's a Wrap!"

His real-life metallic frame may be a little worse for wear, but Claptrap, which Kung Fu Panda star Black is slated to voice with his signature comic enthusiasm, has become the franchise's most recognizable character since the first-person shooter debuted in 2009. Three more games followed, with the latest, Borderlands 3, hitting stores in 2019. (You can get a good sense of what Claptrap and Pandora are like in Borderland 3's "Claptrap Presents: Pandora" clip here.)

So you can see why it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came knocking. Lionsgate nabbed the film rights with the goal of turning it into a major tentpole, and subsequently hired Roth, that purveyor of horror whose hits include Cabin Fever and the Hostel series.

"Get yourself a man like @eliroth who can fight in the desert of pandora and take a dive with the sharks on earth. (i'll explain later)," reads a tweet from the studio, along with the same pic of Claptrap.

The director, who never met a splatter scene he didn't like, has been moving into more family-friendly fare of late. Case in point: his last movie was 2018's PG-rated fantasy comedy The House With a Clock in Its Walls, which starred Blanchett and Black and cast a spell at the box office. No doubt Borderlands has more than enough action to keep Roth engaged as the flick involves treasure hunts, precious alien tech, and sci-fi monsters in a universe where greedy corporations colonize planets like Pandora for their resources.

Curtis is set to play Tannis, an archaeologist who holds the key to some vital E.T. technology, while Hart is on board as Roland, an ex-soldier-turned-mercenary out for redemption.

Craig Mazin, the creator of HBO's Emmy-winning Chernobyl, wrote the latest draft of the Borderlands script, while Avi Arad, who helped shepherd Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy to the big screen, is one of the executive producers.

No word yet on a release date.