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The Last of Us TV showrunner Craig Mazin distances himself from Borderlands movie script

UPDATE: Pseudonym report is "false", Mazin says.

UPDATE 14/7/23: Craig Mazin has debunked the report suggesting he used a pseudonym to distance himself from the upcoming Borderlands adaptation, stating it is "false".

"I am not a credited writer on the film, so I cannot claim any kind of authorship of 'Borderlands,' much less 'co-writing,'" Mazin said in a statement to Variety.

"I did see the report about the pseudonym, which is false. I did not use a pseudonym. If the name in question is indeed a pseudonym, all I can say is… it's not mine."

The original story continues below.

ORIGINAL STORY 11/7/23: Craig Mazin, writer and showrunner on HBO's smash hit The Last of Us TV adaptation (and creator of HBO and Sky Atlantic's acclaimed prestige drama Chernobyl), has removed his name from Gearbox's long-in-the-works Borderlands movie amid what appears to be an increasingly tumultuous post-production period for the project.

A Borderlands movie was first announced back in 2015, but it wasn't until five years later, when Gearbox announced Hostel director Eli Roth would be directing from a script by Mazin, that the project finally appeared to be moving forward in earnest.

Things progressed quickly after Roth and Mazin's involvement was confirmed, with a succession of major acting talent - including the likes Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jack Black - all signing up to join the star-studded cast prior to the start of shooting in 2021.

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Unfortunately, since principal photography wrapped in June that year, the Borderlands movie seems to have run aground. Seven writers have been bought onboard to fiddle with the script in some fashion as post-production has limped forward in the two years since, and Deadpool film director Tim Miller was confirmed to have taken over from Roth - who had moved onto other projects - when reshoots began earlier this year.

And now World of Reel reports that Mazin, as per the Writers Guild of America website, has pulled his name from the credits, opting to instead use the psuedonym Joe Crombie - a move that'll enable him to retain any associated rights while distancing himself from whatever the movie has become after Aaron Berg, Chris Bremner, Sam Levinson, Zak Olkewicz, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor, and Oren Uziel all left their mark on the original script.

Two years of post-production hell and an initially enthusiastic big-name writer now distancing himself from the project aren't exactly what you might call reassuring signs, but with no obvious end in sight for the Borderlands movie, it may be some time before we know whether those extensive rewrites and reshoots have saved it or damned it to mediocrity.

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