Looks like fans of Irrational Games’ Bioshock will have to be content with watching the story play out exclusively on their TV screens. Ken Levine, the creative director of Irrational, has officially cancelled any plans for a movie adaptation. Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango) was originally attached to direct with big plans to make Bioshock a very hard R-rated movie. After several years with the movie in development, Verbinski eventually left and passed the mantel to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). The project halted when it was put into indefinite delay about two years ago, and a year later Fresnadillo confirmed he was no longer involved. Hit the jump to find out why the cancellation came about, and how it’s connected to the box office failure of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen.
Speaking with Movieweb (via The Playlist), Levine explained that the main reason behind the cancellation came from Verbinski’s desire to do a hard R adaptation, similar to that of Watchmen. Since Watchmen can’t be considered a giant box office success, Universal was wary of granting a $200 million budget for Verbinski, who refused a smaller budget of $80 million. Eventually, Levine decided to pull the plug on the project altogether after years of pre-production purgatory. While a Bioshock movie could have been amazing in the right hands, it may be better at this point to just let it live on as a successful video game franchise and not try to improve something that works just fine. Below is Levine’s comments on the demise of the Bioshock movie:
“There was a deal in place, and it was in production at Universal – Gore Verbinski was directing it. 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.”
The newest installment of Bioshock, Bioshock Infinite, is being released on March 26th.