Anyone familiar with the BioShock video game franchise will tell you that title represents one of the most immersive and interesting experiences on the market. The iconic underwater city of Rapture, coupled with bizarre creature designs and supernatural abilities, have long been a source of intrigue for Hollywood executives. Unfortunately, the project has never made it past even the earliest stages of development.
However, despite the problems the film adaptation has faced (specifically budget concerns and a studio-imposed PG-13 rating), Ken Levine - Creative Director at Irrational Games (the studio in charge of the original BioShock - as well as the upcoming title BioShock: Infinite) - still believes that the BioShock brand could work on the big screen.
Speaking with Industry Gamers about the upcoming BioShock "sequel" Infinite, the fan-favorite game designer took a minute to discuss his feelings about a potential film adaptation of the original title:
"I think we’re in the space now of building properties that are appealing to people, and there’s a version of BioShock that makes a great game and there’s probably a version of BioShock that makes a great movie. I think for us as a company, we don’t have any need to get a movie made. We’d like to have a movie made, but it would have to be the right one, and we’ve had the opportunity to get it made and unless all the right pieces are in place – it’s hard enough to get a movie made when all the right pieces are in place. If you don’t start with the right pieces, you don’t have a prayer. We’ve had a lot of great talks with great people about it. We got close to great people, but you always have to have all of those pieces in place and that’s going to be very challenging. It’s a moving puzzle, but I’m going to be continually talking to people about it. It’s definitely something that’s still in the conversation."
Levine's comment seems genuine but the developer appears to be walking a careful company line - to avoid calling-out Universal Studios for not playing with the right "pieces."
As many fans know, Pirates of the Caribbean-helmer Gore Verbinski had been working with Universal Pictures for the last two years to bring the game franchise to the big screen. However, after watching Hollywood churn-out one failed video game-turned film property after another, the director set his mind to a series of demands that would be necessary for the film to succeed: it had to be a big budget project ($160 million, that is) and it'd need an R-rating. Despite their interest in the property, Universal Pictures was hesitant to drop that kind of money, especially attached to an R-rating - even after Verbinski bowed-out of directing in favor of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later).
Check out the original BioShock cinematic trailer - which gives an indication of the kind of scale and drama we could see in an r-rated, big budget, BioShock film (viewer discretion is advised):
Despite all the hang-ups, it's good to know that Levine and Co. have an interest in getting the "version of BioShock that makes a great movie" into theaters at some point. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, Universal execs can open their minds and their wallets and let Verbinski/Fresnadillo play with the "$160 million" piece and the "R-rating" piece - since, despite a great story and compelling creatures, anything shy of serious dedication to the source material could end-up with critical and commercial reception on-par with the Doom adaptation.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what you'd like to see in a BioShock film - and whether you'd settle for a PG-13 version.
Source: Industry Gamers