Deadpool Director Tim Miller Takes Over Reshoots For Eli Roth's Borderlands Movie

The gestation process for cinematic adaptations of video game properties is by no means an exact science. It's rarely ever a brief window and the whole thing can be set back by invested fandoms with what we will gently call actionable passion. With that in mind, let's talk about Lionsgate's upcoming "Borderlands" film.

Directed by Eli Roth and written by both Roth and Craig Mazin (who has another upcoming video game adaptation on the way), "Borderlands" is based on the ongoing game series of the same name. For those who don't consider themselves gamers, "Borderlands" is a cell-shaded, first-person shooter with enough personality to interest a startling amount of Hollywood celebrities. The live action film will feature Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.

Lionsgate has yet to share a release date for "Borderlands" and that might, at least in part, be due to the need for reshoots. While reshoots are a pretty standard part of any movie shoot, and not even remotely unique to video game adaptations, "Borderlands" drew anxious speculation when it was announced that Roth would not return to helm the continued production. In his stead, Tim Miller, the director behind "Deadpool" and "Deadpool 2," will oversee the next phase. Here's the story. 

No, Eli Roth wasn't fired

According to Deadline, Eli Roth wasn't fired from "Borderlands;" the reshoots just conflicted with his schedule. Currently, Roth is otherwise engaged in developing "Thanksgiving," a horror film based on a mock trailer he made for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's "Grindhouse." Since he's preoccupied and unable to return for the reported two weeks of additional filming, Miller is simply covering his back. Deadline went on to describe the transition as an "amicable passing of the baton," throwing water on speculation that Roth had somehow mishandled "Borderlands" to the point of needing total replacement. 

The limited duration of the reshoots seems to support this idea. Had Lionsgate felt that Roth's work demanded a dramatic overhaul, the studio would have scheduled more than two weeks for clean-up. Principal photography started in April, 2021, and ended in June two months later. Janina Gavankar, who will portray Knox in the film, told Collider

"The production design and the art direction alone is so close to the game. You can't believe they put this much love and attention into the details ... they went hard. They really meant it. Even down to our costumes, just getting the colors of everything right. There's a lot of love that went into the production." 

Coming from a self-professed gamer, those are words of high praise for what "Borderlands" will offer. 

Tim Miller is an excellent substitute

Remember how we mentioned that the "Borderlands" video game series is drowning in personality? Well, that personality can very easily be described as adjacent to the raunchy, comedic stylings of the "Deadpool" films which Tim Miller directed. Granted, Miller is by no means the sole tonal leader behind those – Ryan Reynolds and the "Deadpool" writing team (Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) are largely responsible for that — but his involvement cannot be ignored. As far as "Borderlands" fans should be concerned, Miller is an excellent substitute director who will likely continue to see the film honor and respect its source material. He also has experience as a second unit director (basically, the director who shoots stuff that the main director is too busy for) on "Thor: The Dark World," so this isn't his first time matching a shoot to the style of another director.

It's currently unclear as to how much control Miller will have over the "Borderlands" reshoots. If he's a substitute in the same way that the public education system understands the term, then he's a figure head with no substantive authority, serving only to ensure that an adult is somewhere in the room. If, however, the reshoots for "Borderlands" are more than minor adjustments, Miller's involvement could run deeper. If the latter possibility proves true, we're certain to hear more stories from the set when reshoots begin in March.