Rumors have been whizzing around the internet yet again of the possible development of a film adaptation of the colossally popular Bioshock video game series. The series, which uses dystopian societies in alternate timelines to explore political theology and humanistic discussion, has produced three games so far. Two have been set in an underwater society called Rapture, which was built as a utopia in the 1940's and overrun by differing politics and rampant drug abuse. The third was set in a city in the sky, called Columbia, which was founded by a religious zealot who used his power to control his followers to take to the sky and escape the reign United States government.
The series is famous for mind-bending twists and dark themes, naturally making talk of a potential film franchise fairly natural. And while I have written articles on why video game movies suck and why I'm skeptical of the development of a film of The Last of Us, I feel that this recent slew of rumors necessitates a bit of discussion.
How do you make a good movie out of Bioshock?
Get the creators of the franchise involved.
The writer/director of The Last of Us is writing the movie, so hopefully that should ensure faithfulness to the source. And that is exactly what Bioshock would need. Game of the Year awards have been heaped on this franchise from the getgo, and it has a huge and loyal fanbase. Does Hollywood really want to piss off the fanboys? The easiest solution to ensuring fidelity is to involve the creators of the Bioshock franchise.
Focus on the politics behind Rapture.
Yes, I am saying that this film should be set in Rapture, not in Columbia. The first Bioshock game was easily the strongest, and it owed that largely to the vast and horrific world of Rapture. But what contributed to that horror was the war of political ideologies going on between Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine (and the second game's main antagonist, Sophia Lamb)