“Craig Mazin’s script was WONDERFUL before…”: ‘Borderlands’ Suffers a Huge Blow Over Eli Roth’s Direction Despite Film’s Stellar Visuals

Borderlands dazzles visually but Eli Roth's involvement spooks fans

“Craig Mazin’s script was WONDERFUL before…”: ‘Borderlands’ Suffers a Huge Blow Over Eli Roth’s Direction Despite Film’s Stellar Visuals


  • Borderlands film has stunning visuals but Eli Roth's direction draws criticism.
  • Fans worry Roth doesn't fit the film's zany tone despite great script.
  • Roth must balance grit, comedy and let stars like Blanchett shine.
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The upcoming video game adaptation Borderlands has debuted an electric first trailer highlighting the movie’s stylish visuals and star-studded cast. But some fans argue director Eli Roth’s involvement has negatively impacted the project, despite acclaimed screenwriter Craig Mazin penning the script.


Borderlands stars Cate Blanchett as an alien outlaw named Lilith who returns home to Pandora seeking a legendary vault of treasures. She assembles a ragtag crew for the dangerous mission, including Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jack Black. Early footage wows with cel-shaded cinematography resembling the Borderlands games and offbeat humor. So why are fans worried about Roth’s contribution as director?

What Criticism Has Eli Roth Faced Over Borderlands?

Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others in Borderlands
Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others in Borderlands

Eli Roth is best known for gritty horror films like Hostel and The Green Inferno. Borderlands mark new territory for the director within sci-fi and effects-heavy worldbuilding.


While Roth has gushed over Mazin’s “wonderful” script, some question if the director’s sensibilities fit the zany, irreverent tone. Here are a few fan reactions: 




Indeed, Mazin earned acclaim for the Emmy-winning Chernobyl miniseries, while Roth’s filmography skews dark and disturbing. Though Roth has emphasized Borderlands capturing the games’ “mayhem,” his duties overseeing additional photography have also raised eyebrows.

So could Roth’s directorial choices undermine strong source material for Borderlands? It’s possible, based on lukewarm reactions to aspects of Roth’s past work.

Action-Packed First Look of Borderlands

cate blanchett lilith borderlands
Cate Blanchett as Lilith from Borderlands

The recently released Borderlands trailer offers a glimpse at the film’s flashy visuals and chaotic plot. Director Eli Roth explained to Entertainment Weekly that the footage shows “absolute mayhem and total insanity and fun that’s in the game.”


The trailer centers on alien outlaw Lilith, played by Cate Blanchett, returning to her dangerous home planet of Pandora. She’s seeking a fabled vault of treasures and assembles a ragtag crew to aid her quest.

“There’s an absolute sense of mayhem and total insanity and fun that’s in the game that is infused in every frame of the film,” Roth told EW. “It’s got science-fiction, it’s got creatures, it’s got a bit of Star Wars, it’s got a bit of Mad Max, it’s got a bit of Barbarella, all these sci-fi influences that I love.”

Borderlands first look poster
Eli Roth’s Borderlands First Look poster

Lilith’s allies include Kevin Hart as a “badass soldier,” Tiny Tina actress Ariana Greenblatt bringing “Level 10 crazy,” and a Jack Black-voiced Claptrap robot. Jamie Lee Curtis portrays an archaeologist. 

“Tannis is the archaeological expert of the group, she’s just a little bit odd. She’s very much into her objects, very much on her own planet. That’s what makes her a genius, and Jamie played the character beautifully,” Roth explains.

Early clips highlight Bandit-infested regions of Pandora, psycho enemies, and hulking subterranean creatures.


“They urinate out of their mouths. They’re giant and they can swallow you whole,” Roth warns of the planet’s threats.

So the trailer captures Borderlands’ distinct spectacle and peril. But now Roth must deliver these visuals and performances within a stylish, darkly comedic adventure true to the games. But until the release on August 9, questions about Roth’s contributions will persist.


Written by Nivedita Dubey

Articles Published: 82

Nivedita Dubey has 3 years of extensive experience in copywriting and content writing. She has written news articles for websites like, essentially sports, Comic Book Resources, Nerdstash etc.