Another video game is heading down the pipelines of Hollywood and making its way to the silver screen. Video game movies are becoming more and more popular as they have more creative stories and characters than the rehash of characters we see on screen and TV along with the ever-drying drinking hole that is new ideas in Hollywood. This time around Gearbox’s sci-fi, first-person shooter and role playing game hybrid, Borderlands, is stepping up and is in talks of being a “tentpole” blockbuster for Lionsgate with Avi Arad, who has worked on both the Iron Man and Spider Man films, producing. But Lionsgate attempt to take on the video game industry doesn’t stop with adaptations.
Lionsgate Entertainment is making a great leap from films into game development as well as they are forming ties with Peter Levin, former CEO and co-founder of Nerdist Industries. “Levin will lead the enterprise,” Lionsgate announced late last week. Levin will take on the role of President of Interactive Ventures and Games and will be responsible for creating new IPs along with building new content based on previous Lionsgate franchises and brands. “As the home of intellectual property like The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent franchises and a diversified portfolio of television programming, Lionsgate’s opportunities to extend its leadership and innovation into the gaming space and other interactive platforms is limitless,” said Levin, who will be report to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and CFO Jimmy Barge regarding all digital investments before they head down the pipeline.
“Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter’s mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well,” said Feltheimer. Lionsgate is more than confident about their take on the game franchise and the live action adaptation of rich Borderlands mythology. “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-franchis,” CO-Chairs of Lionsgate Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said.
Not only is Lionsgate excited to get a new and widely popular reoccurring franchise under their belt since their Hunger game adapations are coming to a close this November, but Borderlands developer Gearbox seems to be just as pleased about the recent deal with the studio. “Lionsgate really seems to get Borderlands.” Randy Pitchford, one of the five founders of Gearbox, announced to a panel at PAX 2015 that he is also expecting the film land an R rating due to the game’s highly violent nature. There hasn’t been any reports on when a potential release date for the film will be slated nor has there been any talks about who will direct the film.
Let’s just hope with Lionsgate crossing over to the video game industry that they don’t start pumping out cheap games based on their past mega-hit franchises into our side of the pond filling it with license based trash. No one cares about the confidence a CEO of a film company has in his new president of Interactive Ventures and Games; just because you slap a title on a guy doesn’t make him an expert in creating high quality and most importantly fun games. It can safely be said that no one wants to see an action RPG of the Twilight franchise or an FPS of The Hunger Games.