Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy) still has his tickets booked for Rapture. Although he’ll now be taking the trip as a producer, Verbinski told IGN that an adaptation of the popular videogame BioShock is still in the works with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) at the helm. The project was put into stasis last year after Universal balked at the $160 million budget, Verbinski focused on his upcoming animated film Rango, and Fresnadillo turned his attention to thriller Intruders starring Clive Owen. However, Verbinski and Fresnadillo haven’t forgotten the project and the question boils down to getting enough money in spite of making a hard-R flick. Hit the jump for what Verbinski had to say about the project.
According to Verbinski, they haven’t figured out a way to get the project to the budget it needs to be at and keep the R-rating:
“We’re working trying to make it. The problem with BioShock was: R-rated movie, underwater, horror. It’s a really expensive R-rated movie, so we’re trying to figure out a way working with [director] Juan Carlos [Fresnadillo] to get the budget down and still keep so it’s true to the core audience, you know? The thing is it has to be R, a hard R.”
I’m glad Verbinski and Fresnadillo want to do it right. Personally, I don’t think a BioShock game will work simply because I believe any film adaptation can’t be more fun than playing the game. That being said, it makes more sense to turn BioShock into a movie than it did to adapt Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Speaking of the recent film and its mediocre box office performance and whether that fate would befall BioShock:
“No, I think BioShock‘s a rare one because it’s actually a great story. Me? I don’t want to make movies based on videogames, but BioShock‘s the one Oedipal, crazy kind of — it’s just got really good bones, and we’re really trying to figure out a way to make it work.”
Clearly, it all comes down to budget, and I can sympathize with that problem. This isn’t a case of figuring out how to make a big, lavish and exciting blockbuster, but a question of logistics and compromise. The look and story of BioShock are there—the question is how a movie can afford to reach that destination.
For those that haven’t played the excellent game, BioShock takes place in the underwater city of Rapture where a man with a mysterious past crash lands and takes refuge only to find that its inhabitants have gone insane through attempts to genetically splice their DNA in order to “perfect” themselves. The game has a lush, art deco design mixed with a 50s iconography, combined with a smart subtext of what would happen if the philosophy of “Objectivism” was taken to its logical conclusion (it’s not a nice place).