‘Borderlands’: Janina Gavankar Joins Eli Roth’s Video Game Adaptation From Lionsgate
Janina Gavankar has joined Eli Roth’s feature take of the Gearbox and 2K video game Borderlands at Lionsgate.
The Way Back and The Morning Show actress will play the role of Commander Knoxx, a new, key character being introduced to the Borderlands franchise. She joins Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Edgar Ramirez, Haley Bennett, Olivier Richters, and Jack Black.
The Indian-American actress, filmmaker and musician released her short film Stucco last year, which she co-wrote, co-directed, and produced. Stucco won a special jury award at SXSW and has become one of the fest’s most watched short films, clocking 33M views. The film explores mental health, depression, and the feeling of stasis.
Gavankar recently completed production opposite Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer starring in the Amazon feature Invasion due to be released later this year. She was memorably cast as the female lead in Lionsgate’s 2018 Sundance favorite Blindspotting. On television, she is currently reprising her role alongside Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell for Season 2 in Apple TV+’s Golden Globe nominated and Emmy winning series The Morning Show. Her TV credits include Luna, the shapeshifter on HBO’s True Blood; and Diana Thomas, female lead of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow; among others.
Gavankar is repped by Thruline, APA, and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.
In Borderlands, Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.
Borderlands is one of the world’s most successful video game franchises, with more than 68M units sold-in WW, including over 24M units for Borderlands 2, which is the highest-selling title in the history of 2K. The most recent installment, Borderlands 3, launched in September 2019 and was recently released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, selling over 12M units around the globe 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 EPs are Randy Pitchford, EP of the Borderlands video game series 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.