A couple of years ago, there were very real rumors that Universal was developing a big budget adaptation of the video game BioShock to the tune of $200 million. of Dinsey's Pirates franchise was attached to direct. It looked like everyone's fanboy fantasies were destined to become a silver screen reality.
That is until 2011 when the production was delayed indefinitely. Irrational Games' creative director Ken Levine, the mind behind BioShock, recently explained why the movie is no longer happening. His answer may surprise you:
My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard R film - which is like a 17/18 plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don't think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood. Then Watchmen came out, and it didn't do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film - and Gore didn't want to make a $80 million film. They brought another director in, and I didn't really see the match there - and 2K's one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.
I understand that Levine has an unbelievably personal attachment to the project -- but BioShock is a story that could be made for $80 million with a lesser known director and cast.
This is a high risk project that requires the appropriate amount of gusto to reap the Rapture rewards. It's not surprising that Verbinski or Universal would want to make a $200 million, R-rated film, especially after the financial fiasco that was Zack Snyder's bomb and modern game adaptations like Silent Hill: Revelation. But I wholeheartedly believe this is a movie that could be made with an appropriate emphasis on the source material's genre flair with a director like or even .
I want a hard R adaptation (but more importantly just a serious film) of my favorite game worlds more than the next guy. Unfortunately, I don't think that they'll nab grade-A directing talent until a successful, PG-13 adaptation that is faithful to the source material happens. But then again, they're already making Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter...