HBO’s Last Of Us Writer Removes Name From Borderlands Film

The Borderlands movie wrapped principal photography in June 2021. Now, two years later and following reshoots and rewrites, Last of Us co-writer and co-creator Craig Mazin has seemingly decided he doesn’t want his name attached to the upcoming film which still doesn’t have a release date or trailer.

First announced in 2015, it took years for the Borderlands movie to actually lock down a director and start filming. Based on the popular Gearbox-developed sci-fi co-op FPS RPG franchise, Borderlands finally started filming in 2021 with a star-studded cast that included Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Jamie Lee Curtis. In June 2021, shortly after filming was finished, we got our first look at the cast as their characters. However, two years later, that’s basically all we’ve seen. Not a good sign! In January 2023, things only got worse as it was confirmed that the film would receive reshoots under a new director, Tim Miller. A new writer, Zak Olkewicz, was also brought in to help pen some new pages for Miller. And now, it looks like the film’s original co-writer, Craig Mazin, wants his name nowhere near this film.

As reported by World of Reel and confirmed via the Writer’s Guild website, the current credited writers on the Borderlands film are Eli Roth and Joe Crombie, a pseudonym for Craig Mazin. This is similar to how, back in the day, directors working on a film they didn’t like or want their name connected to would opt to use the popular fake name of Alan Smithee. So it’s highly likely that Mazin is doing the same and choosing to omit his name for a made-up credit in order to no longer be attached to the upcoming film adaptation.

Mazin came to prominence writing comedy, with credits on screenplays like Scary Movie III and The Hangover Part II. More recently, however, he’s made a name for himself in prestige drama, helming HBO’s acclaimed Chernobyl series before working on the TV adaptation of The Last of Us.

The Borderlands film is a mess

World of Reel further reports that beyond Mazin, Roth, and Olkewicz, a long list of other writers have worked on the Borderlands movie screenplay, including Aaron Berg, Oren Uziel, Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Chris Bremner, Gary Ross, and The Idol creator Sam Levinson.

Keep in mind that this movie is primarily based on the original Borderlands game, which doesn’t have the most complex or hard-to-tell story. So why nearly a dozen writers have been brought in to help poke and prod at the movie’s script, I have no idea. But my already low expectations for this film have somehow plummeted even further.

The Borderlands movie will (probably) be released in theaters, eventually. Maybe next year?

EA Removes Every FIFA Game From PS5 And Other Stores

You can no longer buy last year’s hit soccer game, FIFA 23. Nor any other older game from the famous Electronic Arts sports franchise. At least, not digitally.

The publisher has pulled every FIFA game that was previously for sale on the PlayStation 5, Xbox, Switch, Steam, and Epic Games storefronts. The move, first noticed by industry analyst MauroNL, comes ahead of the launch of EA Sports FC 24, the newest game in the series which was re-branded earlier this year after EA abandoned the FIFA licence amid ongoing renewal negotiations.

While some DLC packs for the games, which date back to FIFA 14 on modern platforms, are still available on the storefronts, the games themselves are either missing or don’t show an option to purchase. On Steam, where FIFA 23 has accrued over 100,000 user reviews and a rating of “mixed,” a notice reads: “At the request of the publisher, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 is unlisted on the Steam store and will not appear in search.”

It’s not clear if the games will return at some point in a different form, or whether their removal will be permanent. EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

FIFA games, and now EA Sports FC, come out every year with updated rosters but often minimal changes to the underlying modes and mechanics. EA Sports FC 24, which arrives September 29, currently has a 76 on Metacritic, with GamesRadar calling it the “most playable” version of the series in years, while Eurogamer called it “business as usual.”

Chief among the improvements is a streamlining of Ultimate Team, the series’ loot box mode where players collect packs of cards and then use them to construct hyper-talented all-star squads. According to GamesRadar, EA has improved the feel of the mode on the field, and added an “Evolution” feature for leveling up players’ skills, as well as mixed in star female players who were previously kept separately.

Ultimate Team is the real reason many players shell out for a new version of FIFA every year, abandoning the game they paid $70 for just 12 months prior. It’s also been supremely lucrative for EA, which rakes in more money from microtransactions than the sale of the new games themselves. Though apparently not enough to make the publisher want to pay the International Football Federation the $1 billion it was reportedly requesting to renew the FIFA brand.

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