Jack Black Is Playing Claptrap In The Borderlands Movie
Jack Black is back - the School of Rock and Tenacious D frontman has just landed his next big role. While Jack Black is no stranger to video game movies thanks to his part in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level, he's the latest addition to Eli Roth's Borderlands movie. Up there with Handsome Jack, the most famous Borderlands character is the wise-cracking Claptrap. Thankfully, Black has the chops to voice the rogue robot and has signed on to play the character in the live-action adaptation of Gearbox Software's action RPG series.
While a Borderlands movie has been in the works since around 2015, there's been a flurry of recent activity thanks to a number of high-profile castings. Starting with Cate Blanchett, Borderlands then added Kevin Hart and Jamie Lee Curtis. The casting of Black proved Lionsgate isn't skimping on the talent budget for what's being pitched as a "tentpole" movie for the studio behind Saw.
What is Jack Black's role as Claptrap in Borderlands?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black will portray Claptrap - well, lend his voice to the robot. After having previously worked together on The House with a Clock in its Walls, Roth said he can't wait to reunite with the star. In a statement, the director explained, "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". Claptrap is described as "a persistently sarcastic robot not invested in the survival of his teammates".
Also hyping the inclusion of such a big name, Lionsgate President Nathan Kahane added, "It’s one of the biggest no-brainer casting decisions we’ve ever made. 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". When Claptrap debuted alongside the first Borderlands in 2009, the character soon became the de facto mascot of the franchise but proved to be divisive over his "annoying" nature. Black himself is something of a marmite actor, but sure to bring plenty of his signature wit to the role.
What else do we know about the Borderlands movie?
It's easy to imagine someone like Jim Carrey, Seth McFarlane, or (back in the day) Robin Williams voicing the blabbering bucket of bolts, however, Black has beaten the competition to land the role of Claptrap. The cast of Borderlands is filling out nicely, with only a handful of major roles left to cast. Although it's thought that filming could start as early as next month in Hungary, the fact Black is only voicing Claptrap suggests he probably won't be needed on the set. Inadvertently, Black's casting alongside Hart as Roland makes Borderlands something of a Jumanji reunion. What, is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson destined to play Brick and Karen Gillen as Gaige?
Borderlands will loosely follow the games and be set on the planet of Pandora. If the castings are anything to go by, it will chart the story of Vault Hunter Lillith (Blanchett) as she's joined by skilled soldier Roland (Hart) and archaeologist Tannis (Curtis). Claptrap will presumably be in tow as the quartet goes up against the nefarious Atlas Corporationtrying to get its hands on alien tech. Think Avatar meets Indiana Jones. With Roth's previous work on Hostel and The Cabin in the Woods - coupled with Lionsgate's adult slate of movies - there are continued rumours Borderlands could push for a gritty R-rating.
Chernobyl's Craig Mazin turned in the latest draft of the screenplay, while there's currently no release date for Borderlands. Now that most of the main players have been cast, we'll have to keep our eyes on which other household favourites will be dropping onto Pandora as part of this video game giant.
Images via 2K Games | Universal