Jack Black will play Claptrap in Eli Roth’s adaptation of the bestselling video game Borderlands for Lionsgate, the studio announced today. Black is joining Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis in the film.
Black will voice the role of Claptrap, a persistently sarcastic robot that isn’t all that invested in the survival of his teammates. The announcement was made by Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
With Borderlands, Black will re-team with Roth and Blanchett following their work together on the film The House with a Clock in Its Walls, which opened #1 at the box office on its way to taking in over $130 million worldwide.
“I am so excited to reunite with Jack, this time in the recording booth. Claptrap is the funniest character in the game, and Jack is perfect to bring him to the big screen,” said Roth.
“We couldn’t have been more in sync with our filmmakers and casting executives as we approached this role. It’s one of the biggest no-brainer casting decisions we’ve ever made,” said Kahane.
He added: “Everyone who’s ever played the game knows Jack is perfect for this part. We’re thrilled he will add his endless comic energy and voice to our film – he’ll bring so much to the movie.”
Based on the best-selling PC and console gaming experience from developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K, a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Borderlands is one of the world’s most successful video game franchises, with more than 68 million units sold-in worldwide, including over 24 million units of Borderlands 2, which is the highest-selling title in the history of 2K.
The most recent installment, Borderlands 3, which launched in September 2019 and was recently released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, has sold-in more than 12 million units worldwide and was honored with the award for Best Multiplayer Game at Gamescom 2019 and Best Ongoing Game at Gamescom 2020.
The latest draft of the screenplay is by the two-time Emmy-winning screenwriter Craig Mazin. Avi Arad and Ari Arad are producing through their Arad Productions banner, with Erik Feig also producing through PICTURESTART.
The film’s executive producers are Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the Borderlands video game franchise and founder of the Gearbox Entertainment Company, and Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive.
James Myers and Aaron Edmonds are overseeing the project on behalf of Lionsgate. Emmy Yu is overseeing the film for Arad Productions. Lucy Kitada and Royce Reeves- Darby are overseeing the project for PICTURESTART.
Robert Melnik negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.
Most recently, Black reprised his role as Shelly Oberon in Jumanji: The Next Level, which took in over $800 million worldwide; Black is one of the cornerstones of the $1.7 billion franchise. Black’s upcoming work includes Apollo 10½: A Space Age Adventure for writer-director Richard Linklater. Black is represented by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.