BioShock Movie On Hold – What’s Verbinski To Do?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated March 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am,

bioshock movie money BioShock Movie On Hold   Whats Verbinski To Do?

Video games Like BioShock and Halo just don’t get any breaks sometimes.

These video game-based movies either make it to the big screen and we all wish they had a bigger budget or they drift in planning limbo even though there’s a rabid fanbase waiting patiently.  But sometimes the fanbase just isn’t enough to inspire the studios.

Production Halted, Processes Reviewed

In this case, BioShock was on the path to being made into what many would consider to be a quality effort.  Universal had acquired the rights in a multi-million dollar deal banked against gross points with the game maker and director Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates Of The Caribbean series) was set to helm the job.  It definitely looked promising… until Friday, April 24th, when Universal Pictures saw the estimated price tag and pulled the funding plug on pre-production of the project. They let staff from the project go while they work with Verbinski to try and figure out how to approach the project from a more frugal perspective.

As it stood, the live-action version of BioShock was looking to cost $160 million and I’m thinking that Universal doesn’t have the faith that the movie at that cost is a financially sound maneuver.  Oddly, this judgment call is being compared to Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.  That project went through similar production cost hurdles but is now on track after finding cost cuts to allow the filming to recommence.

One idea to save bucks on the BioShock production was to move the shoot location from the Los Angeles, CA area to London.  Though initially this doesn’t seem cheaper, the tax incentives (cuts) for shooting in London are significant enough to make it a viable idea.  Too bad for L.A. and California.

Does This Become Another Halo Project?

Regardless, Verbinski and Universal need to figure out how to cut corners and sources say this is not going to become another Halo.  They claim that they do intend to make a movie of the bestselling Take-Two Interactive video game.

halo movie 01 BioShock Movie On Hold   Whats Verbinski To Do?

If you recall, Universal and Fox (There goes that word again) had backed out of the Halo project due to cost concerns.  We wrote about a spec script and conecept art for Halo that Stuart Beattie (Gears of War, G.I. Joe) had put together,  but that came about from his own frustration with any lack of development on the project.

So What Will Gore Verbinski Do Now?

I have to wonder if Verbinski turning down the next Pirates of The Caribbean 4 movie hurt his options to jump back on that project?  As far as I can tell, I haven’t seen or heard of a new director being attached to the project yet.  Maybe he can hop back on board?  Or will there now be time for the Heavy Metal movie remake of the 1981 hit that Verbinksi is noted being attached to?

the host BioShock Movie On Hold   Whats Verbinski To Do?

Another project that Verbinski is reported to be producing is a remake of the 2006 movie, The Host (Korean title: Gwoemul) with commercial director Fredrik Bond (Nike, Adidas) and written (Wouldn’t that be rewritten?) by Mark Poirier (Smart People).  The who?  The Host is a film that did very well in S. Korean theaters.  It is about a giant squid like creature who kidnaps (For lack of a better term) a little girl and her family bands together to rescue her.  Hey, it did a record breaking theatrical run in S. Korea.  Don’t ask me.  It’s a family pulling-together theme.

Verbinski is also attached to another project that is about the fantasy role-playing world, and oddly, it’s based on a Wall Street Journal article.  (Hmm.  I better start writing better articles if that’s the case!)

The WSJ article is about a man who spends as many as 20 hours a day on his computer as he leads a fantasy life via his avatar that is a successful, musclebound entrepreneur. In reality, he is a diabetic, chain-smoking 53-year-old.  When they said 20 hours a day, I thought for a fleeting moment they were talking about an entertainment editorial writer.

After All Is Said And Done

Despite the potential marketability of video games, the potential profit margin keeps studios hesitant.  I get it, yet the fans of the franchises can get pretty hopeful when they hear news of movies and then get let down as the reality of the business sets in, well, it sucks for us.

As far as Gore Verbinski goes, it looks like no matter the outcome here,  he’s got plenty on his plate to keep him going.

Let’s hope they keep to the intent, and get this project back on track.  I don’t see how they won’t with Universal having dropping a chunk of change on the rights already.

Source:  Variety (via Filmonic)

TAGS: Bioshock, Halo
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  1. ive heard great things about the game, however i have never played, but it seems that when video games movies come out they end up dissappointing and straying from the game(doom).

    i am looking forward to “the host” remake, i loved the original and would love to see hollywood’s take on the film, i just hope its actually entertaining b/c we all know what happened last time hollywood remade a great foreign monster film.

  2. Doom, Max Payne, Blood Rayne, Fatal Fury, Street Fighter, Hitman, ect. ect.

    Would probably be best if this never happened.

    The charm of a video game is lost in its transition to a movie. If anything, a true video game movie would have a directing style much like The Wrestler.

  3. Yea Matt, everyone has their own “vision” of a franchise. Sometimes it bites, sometimes it pans out. We can only hope.

  4. I hope this one gets made and stays true to the source material.

    Unfortunately I slowly start to think that both Bioshock and Halo might not happen at all. I did some research for my blog and most movie adaptations were not really successful. In fact, only two movies in this genre were successful compared to the investment and both are not Lara Croft.

    Pumping 160 Million Dollar into an insecure movie (in terms of possible box office earnings) seems to be the right decision in that light.

    Nevertheless I really hope Bioshock will get made. Or better: made in a good way without cutting too much.

  5. As long as the game’s sequel comes out on time I’ll be happy!!!

    My favorite game ever but I don’t know that I need to see a film of it. Might be kinda cool if they filmed it in black and white and gave it that old Fritz Lang sort of look

  6. bruce,

    your right there man. I just pray it doesnt turn out like the godzilla remake, as a fellow “g-fan” you know what im talking about,lol

  7. Some of those video game movies were doomed (no pun intended) from the beginning because the game lacked any type of real story or backstory. Bioshock should be different, with a good director and actors it could be done very well. Bioshock is full of backstory, there is a wealth of information and characterization in the movie. The only thing that is disappointing is that the twist in the game cannot be used in the movie since players of the game would see it coming a mile away. It was a GREAT twist, one of the best in video game history. Play it and you’ll see, I was impressed with the story writing in the game that made it all possible.

  8. Oops, when I said it has a wealth of information and characterization, didn’t mean to say “in the movie” after that…

  9. Indeed Matt, indeed. Though they really messed up my main “man”, Godzilla, the smaller more flexible size gave better opportunity for what I refer to as character interaction between the hungry lizard and those “puny humans.”

    Ken J:

    I hear ya… but I am waiting for someone to make a movie only based on the characters or world of a video game, and then do that “Make it their own” thing to it, creating a whole new situation that doesn’t have to hang on to the video game setting.

    But it needs to be done right if they’re going to veer away from the baseline of a game. Dare I say, like a decent origins flick? I grumble at that because most “origins” movies annoy me, but there has to be something they can do to create a decent video game based movie… besides throw money at it.

    Does that make sense gang?

  10. as far as video game adaptations are concerned there are some decent ones(imo) like the two final fantasy films(spirits within and advent children), doom(good as a sci fi film) and resident evil: apocalypse and extinction.

  11. I had fun playing BS, the twist didn’t really blow me away, as I noticed the emphasis on “Would you Kindly”. It was clear that the character was under some sort of mind control. (Didn’t know who he was etc,)

    The most stunning quality of “Bio-Shock” (imo) was its cool looking graphics and game play… Also once you figure out how to beat the Big Daddys, it was just an achievment heavy game…

    I haven’t watched a video game movie adaptation yet that was more fun then actually playing the game.

    If it gets made great, if not I won’t care either.
    Same with a Halo film… I would much rather spend 60 bucks on Bio Shock2, then spend 10 bucks on a Bio Shock film.

  12. only thing that really bothered me in the godzilla remake was the damage done to the brooklyn bridge… Always the brooklyn bridge why not the verazzano or the manhatten or any other one… Besides that everytime i see they’re playing godzilla i watch it. Good movie in my opinion. As is most of the ones mentioned above except bloodrayne and i didn’t even know there was a movie about fatal fury. Never really liked that game though. As for bioshock i’m pretty sure verbinski can make the movie look good… But still pretty sure that fans of the game will still be like… “well thats not right”… Nonetheless somebody will like this film regardless of what fans think of the adaptation…

  13. LOL… yea, here, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge. Never the Bay Bridge or the Dumbarton bridge, or the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge or the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

    See… it’s name recognition they’re going for. Because we can relate! Or at least know of…

  14. We don’t really have any famous bridges here, so I guess that’s why they don’t destroy any of them. Well, besides the road going to the keys, they consider some parts of that bridges… They destroyed some of those in True Lies, lol.

  15. LOL…

    Ah, True Lies… an emotional favorite for me!

  16. its my favt game.. damn good.

  17. Anoop, have you tried “Dead Space” I’m playing it now, and its pretty good.
    Reminds me of an improved version of “Doom.”

  18. “The Bridge is out!”
    “What, I can’t hear you!”
    “I said, the bridge is OUT!!!”
    “What…HARRY, the bridge is OUT!”

    honestly I am glad that this Bioshock film is a no go (for now), even though Verbinksi is quite talented and I really did enjoy his directorial style in the Pirates films. Reminded me so much of the Errol Flynn movies, especially that he actually SHOWS you these guys fighting and with LONG SHOTS. But, I am happy that Bioshock is not greenlit. Somethings are best left to their medium. Although it would have been fascinating to see on screen.

    I would also like to mention that I am totally against The Host remake, even with Gore. The Host is the most recent “monster-movie” done right. No on Cloverfield, that was just stank! But, that is my opinion and like butt-holes, everybody has one. Shame if you attempt at remaking that great film! Shame.
    I can really see Bruckheimer give a call to Gore with a “so, I hear this videogame flick is a no-picture…”

  19. JessSayin’:

    UT – ALL THE WAY BABY!!!!! Now that’s a great game

  20. One of the reasons Halo fell through is not just because of the money, but because Peter Jackson, Neill Blomkamp, Bungie, and Microsoft did not want to give Universal and Fox creative control. And I’m happy that they didn’t. Reason why most v.g. adaptions fail epicly (sp?) is because studios like Fox (they need to go away) get ahold of that creative control and change everything to their liking.