Now I've taken flak for saying this before, but video games do not make good movies. Even good video games do not make good movies. For this reason I'm personally quite glad BioShock never made it to the big screen.
In 2008, Universal began developing a live-action version of the Ayn Rand-esque dystopian video game, Bioshock — allocating $200 million to the venture and promising an R-Rated certificate. Originally, it appears The Lone Ranger director, , was attached to direct a script by The Last Samurai scribe, John Logan.
However, a year later, with Watchmen struggling at the box office, Universal became uneasy about producing another expensive R-Rated adaptation. Instead they ordered Verbinski to complete the project on only $80 million. Unsatisfied with this development, Verbinski moved over to the producer's chair and 28 Weeks Later director stepped in.
By early 2010, pre-production was underway, but not for long. The original BioShock creator, Ken Levine, soon arrived and pulled the plug on the entire affair, stating he was unhappy with the choice of director and the compromises he was being asked to make. Good on him.
But before Levine finished off the project, a small amount of concept art was produced by artist Tom Flattery. Check it all out below:
As fans of the original game will no doubt notice, the movie concept art adheres rather closely to that of the game, especially in the representation of the Big Daddies. Despite this, as I said above, I'm extremely glad this never came to fruition.
Now, I love BioShock. Its incredibly original story and environment conjures up the great works of dystopian/science-century fiction such as A Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four and even Jules Verne's earlier, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.
Sure, BioShock featured great moments of action and horror, but for me I was constantly impressed that a video game could portray such a deeply interesting and cerebral story while constantly staying action orientated. Furthermore, central to this story was the moral choice presented to the player. Creating a linear, passive movie experience wouldn't have been able to replicate this.
BioShock already exists in its best possible form. A movie version could invariably never match it's original brilliance. If video games want to be taken seriously as narrative storytelling devices, they need to stop seeing movie adaptations as something to aspire towards.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know below.