The Last of Us TV series co-creator Craig Mazin has removed his name from the long-gestating Borderlands movie. As per World of Reel and confirmed through the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) website, the currently credited writers on the film are Eli Roth and Joe Crombie — the latter is a pseudonym for Mazin, suggesting that he no longer wants to be attached to the project. The film adaptation of the popular Gearbox looter-shooter appears to be in development hell, thanks to a test screening in November that led to Lionsgate being unsatisfied and ordering more work to be done on it.
Mazin’s decision to use a pseudonym comes at a time when he’s the most in-demand writer in Hollywood, having recently steered HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation to critical acclaim, after his success with the Chernobyl miniseries. Given how messy the post-production is reported to be, with Deadpool director Tim Miller replacing Eli Roth in January for additional reshoots, it only makes sense for Mazin to not tarnish his reputation with it. At one point, Sam Levinson, creator of Euphoria and the poorly received The Idol, was also hired to right, apparently. Filming on Borderlands began in 2021, boasting a star-studded cast, which included Cate Blanchett as the magic-wielding Siren Lilith, Kevin Hart as the highly-trained soldier Roland, Jamie Lee Curtis as the erratic researcher Dr. Patricia Tannis, and Jack Black as the comic Hyperion-manufactured robot Claptrap.
First-look images of the cast’s silhouette were dropped in mid-2021, following which there was no new information about the film. With Miller taking on directing duties, along came Zak Olkewicz (Bullet Train) to write some new pages for the Borderlands movie. In total seven writers were brought on board to fiddle with the script, including the aforementioned Levinson and Olkewicz, Aaron Berg, Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat), Juel Taylor (They Cloned Tyrone), Tony Rettenmaier (Space Jam: A New Legacy), and Chris Bremner (Bad Boys for Life). The official website for the Borderlands movie hasn’t been updated yet, still mentioning Mazin’s name as is, alongside Roth as the director.
As per the official synopsis from Lionsgate, Borderlands largely follows Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw returning to her home planet of Pandora to seek the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B. Atlas (Édgar Ramírez). To complete the task, she pulls together a ragtag group of misfits — former elite mercenary Roland, a feral demonologist Tiny Tina, and the blabbermouth robot Claptrap — and battle swarms of aliens, bandits, and psychos, before the mission eventually turns into a world-saving one.
In other news, Mazin’s partner on The Last of Us series Neil Druckmann is now left alone to lead Naughty Dog — developers of the Uncharted and TLOU games — as President, by the end of the year. Co-president Evan Wells has chosen to retire after a 25-year-long stint at the company. “This is something that I’ve been discussing with Naughty Dog’s Studio Leadership Team for well over a year, and with Neil for even longer than that. The decision brings with it overwhelming and conflicting emotions, but I’ve come to realize that I’m content with my time at the studio and all that we’ve accomplished together over the last 25 years,” Wells said in a blog post.
“I couldn’t be more confident in Neil’s ability to carry on running the studio. It’s the right time for me to provide the opportunity for him and the others on the Studio Leadership Team to steer the studio into a successful future.”
The Borderlands movie currently does not have a release date.