Borderlands: Why Kevin Hart’s Next Movie Should Have Taken Castlevania Approach Instead of Live-Action – Explained

Borderlands' upcoming movie adaptation may not have the time to flesh out the complex lore of the game franchise

Castlevania, kevin hart, borderlands

SUMMARY

  • Fans believe an animated Borderlands adaptation would've been the best fit for the video game franchise.
  • The animation style and complex lore required the animated series format for better characterization and world-building.
  • Other games like Castlevania have found success in this particular medium.
Show More
Featured Video

Eli Roth’s Borderlands will finally hit theaters this August, almost nine years after its announcement. The film, based on the critically acclaimed video game franchise of the same name, underwent several script changes and production delays. The Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart starrer’s trailer was a mixed bag.

Advertisement

Moreover, fans of the game franchise are skeptical of the big screen medium as it may not have the time to establish different storylines starting from the 2009 game.

Cate Blanchett in a still from Borderlands
Cate Blanchett in a still from the upcoming film Borderlands

A popular suggestion among the video game fanbase was to make Borderlands into an animated series. This animated version would be a much better way to bring the world-building, numerous characters, and their complex interconnected storylines onto the screen.

Advertisement

Why Would Borderlands Fare Better As An Animated Series?

Borderlands would work better as an animated series than a theatrical film (credits: Borderland 3)
Borderlands would work better as an animated series than a theatrical film (credits: Borderlands 3)

Borderlands’s looter shooter game received a film adaptation announcement back in 2015 when the series format was not popular in the industry. Moreover, there were only a handful of animated series on television that were worth the money and effort of the makers.

Despite the delays in production over the years, Borderlands chose to maintain its film format, which may not be a smart move from the makers.

What makes the Borderlands video games stand apart from other similar games in the genre is their cel-shaded animation style in the games, which closely resembles a comic book. The trailer of the film also gave off a comic-book movie vibe, with many fans comparing it to James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Advertisement

The action in the game is flashy and colorful, a style that’s better suited for an animated adaptation than a live-action one. Some of the raw elements in the game would’ve also worked better in animation. Borderlands game has an extensive cast and a complex story. It means that a film format wouldn’t have the time to build groundwork before jumping right into the action.

However, a series format will allow for the necessary world-building. The game franchise consists of seven games, which include Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 3, and their spin-offs. Borderlands 4 is currently under development at Gearbox (via GamesRadar). This means that a single film or a film franchise developed over several years wouldn’t be able to cover all these interesting storylines.

The current film has an ensemble cast including Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Ariana Greenblatt, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Edgar Ramírez. It follows Blanchett’s Lilith, an infamous outlaw, who returns to her home planet Pandora and forms an alliance with an unexpected team.

Advertisement

Castlevania and Other Few Game Adaptations Found Success In The Animated Series Format

Netflix's Castlevania is an excellent example of how animated series work better for video game adaptations
Netflix’s Castlevania is an excellent example of how the animated series format works better for video game adaptations

Adi Shankar’s Castlevania was able to adapt Konami’s Japanese game series of the same name into a successful Netflix animated series. The series received critical acclaim for its visuals, animation, action sequences, characterization, and themes.

Following the success of Castlevania, Shankar is now working on Hideki Kamiya’s Devil May Cry game adaptation for Netflix, as an animated series.

Another success story in this format is the Emmy-winning Netflix series Arcane. Based on Arcane: League of Legends, the series boasted some familiar names in the voice acting department, led by Ella Purnell and Hailee Steinfeld. The series was also praised for its steampunk style, animation, story, and worldbuilding.

Advertisement

Other video game adaptations in the animated series format include Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, Dragon Age: Absolution, and Ark: The Animated Series. Borderlands is scheduled to be released in theaters on August 9, 2024.

Avatar

Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1247

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.