News has dropped from Lionsgate that Jack Black will voice Claptrap in its adaptation of the Borderlands series. The film is being led by Eli Roth and Black will work alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchett, and Kevin Hart, playing Tannis, Lilith, and Roland respectively. It will be written by Craig Mazin, who is also developing an adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us for HBO, and Aaron Berg.
Black’s last major venture in video games was voicing Eddie Riggs, the heroic roadie in Double Fine’s Brutal Legend, released back in 2009. Both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises also featured music from Tenacious D, the comedy rock duo comprised of Black and Kyle Gass.
The film is still very early in pre-production but gamers are already expressing concerns. Limited plot details released by Full Circle Cinema indicated the movie will not be following the storyline of the games. Allegedly it features Lilith embarking on a rescue mission in pursuit of the Atlas Corporation’s CEO, Tiny Tina, which gives Tina a far less heart-wrenching backstory than the games. Lilith will be aided on her mission by her fellow vault hunters and Claptrap. Though Curtis’ and Blanchett’s casting have been praised, Hart taking a turn as the decidedly serious Roland has raised plenty of eyebrows.
It remains to be seen how well-founded those fears might be. The project certainly has a lot of talent associated with it; Mazin, for example, is coming off of a cavalcade of awards for Chernobyl, including personally earning two of its three Emmys. But it’s been proven time and again that talent alone can’t save a film, much less one that’s adapting a video game (see the epic failure of 2016’s Assassin’s Creed among critics and fans of the games alike).
We’ll have to wait and see how well Jack Black will voice Claptrap, but in the meantime you can grab the most recent entry in the franchise, Borderlands 3, on PC, Playstation, Xbox, and Google Stadia.