Lionsgate is doing some damage control today following rumors that have been spreading online that Eli Roth has been fired for the much-anticipated Borderlands movie adaptation, with Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate) replacing him. According to Deadline, Miller is stepping in as the director of Borderlands‘ upcoming two weeks of reshoots, but Roth has not been fired. Instead, they’re saying Roth is busy prepping to shoot his long-awaited holiday slasher, Thanksgiving, based on his infamous Grindhouse trailer. That film is gearing up for a March shoot which, theoretically, can’t be delayed if they want to get the movie out for a Thanksgiving debut.
Deadline notes that the baton handing is friendly, with Roth and Miller friends, and that Roth is still officially the movie’s director. Notably, the film, which stars Cate Blanchett as the heroine Lilith, was shot before this year’s Tar. Indeed, I actually saw some footage of it at CinemaCon back in April, and it looked like a pretty radical adaptation, with Roth seemingly sticking closely to the game’s visual aesthetic. For Roth, this is a big step towards the mainstream, with it easily his highest-profile project to date. While Thanksgiving sounds more up his alley, it will still be interesting to see his approach for the star-studded adaption. The movie also stars Kevin Hart, Edgar Ramirez, Jack Black and Jamie Lee Curtis.
While it sounds unconventional for another director to handle reshoots, it’s been done before, with Tony Gilroy working on Rogue One, James McTeigue reshooting some of The Invasion, and then the massive last-minute reshoots for World War Z, although apparently the same director was kept for those. At least this time, it sounds like Roth handed over the baton willingly, and it might just come down to scheduling issues (let’s not forget that Blanchett is currently in the middle of a massive awards campaign for Tar).
What do you think of this news? Do you buy the story given to Deadline? Let us know in the comments!