The Borderlands Trailer is an Antidote to Dark and Gloomy Apocalypse Stories

Get ready to love (or hate) Claptrap.


Somewhere between the smash success of The Last of Us and the surprise reveal that the Twisted Metal series was actually good, the video game curse was officially broken. But the slate of successful gaming dramas can mostly be divided into two categories: dark and gritty, or light and colorful. Now, a new video game movie may just find the perfect balance between the two.

Borderlands, Gearbox Software’s looter-shooter series, is being adapted into a movie by Thanksgiving director Eli Roth. Borderlands is slated for release on August 9, 2024, and boasts an all-star cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, Ariana Greenblatt, and Jack Black as the voice of the robot Claptrap. Here’s the full trailer.

Borderlands follows a ragtag group of adventurers on an alien world ravaged by mining companies as they attempt to find and protect a girl who may hold the key to a mythical treasure. The trailer highlights a handful of the many misadventures they’ll run into, and includes enemies, explosions, and something called Piss Wash Gully.

While Borderlands may not be set on Earth, the setting is very reminiscent of other apocalyptic video game adaptations like The Last of Us and the upcoming Fallout. Unlike those properties, however, it doesn’t dwell on the dark and gritty tone post-apocalyptic stories are known for.

Cate Blanchett as Lilith.


Instead, Borderlands combines its grim setting with the more lighthearted tone of adaptations like Five Nights at Freddy’s and Twisted Metal. The story may technically be an epic adventure, but it’s not trying too hard to be serious. The games stood out thanks to their kooky casts, and that element seems to have survived the transition to Hollywood.

Borderlands’ sense of humor may not be for everyone, but not every game adaptation needs to choose between the relentless depression of The Last of Us or the candy-colored cheeriness of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Done right, a middle-ground approach could be a fresh change of pace.

Borderlands hits theaters August 9, 2024.

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