It’s no secret that video game adaptations are tough, actually, make that impossible to nail. So many have tried and failed and even the ones that held much potential (we’re looking at you, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed) ended up disappointing the vast majority of people. That’s why it’s pretty shocking that BioShock, a video game series that seems absolutely perfect for a big screen adaptation, has never been given the treatment.
It’s certainly not for a lack of trying, though. If you recall, back in 2008, Gore Verbinski was attempting to get a film based on the property off the ground and while things seemed promising at first, Universal eventually put an end to his plans by grounding the project, citing budget concerns as the main reason for not pushing ahead with it. Fans everywhere were crushed and ever since, there’s really been no further updates of any sort on a potential BioShock movie.
That hasn’t exactly changed today, as we’re still no closer to seeing one come to fruition, but while promoting his new film A Cure For Wellness, Verbinski set the record straight on what went down and why his project had the plug pulled on it even though everything seemed to be moving along quite nicely.
“Well, it’s no short answer to that question but we were eight weeks prior shooting when the plug was pulled. It’s an R rated movie. I wanted to keep it R rated, I felt like that would be appropriate, and it’s an expensive movie. It’s a massive world we’re creating and it’s not a world we can simply go to locations to shoot.
“A Cure For Wellness”, we were able to really utilize a variety of location to create the world. “Bioshock” it wouldn’t work like that, we’d be building an entire underworld universe. So I think the combination of the price tag and the rating, Universal just didn’t feel comfortable ultimately. At that time also there were some R rated, expensive R rated movies that were not working.”
We definitely understand why Universal may have been nervous with this one, especially since BioShock, while a popular title, doesn’t have the fanbase of something like World of Warcraft or even Assassin’s Creed. Still, you could argue that with its rich and detailed world and fascinating narrative, it’s far better suited for a feature film than those two properties are. But I digress.
Further on in his chat, Verbinski was asked if he’d ever consider trying to get the project off the ground again, to which he replied:
So I think things have changed and maybe there will be another chance, but it’s very difficult when you’re eight weeks away from shooting a movie you really can see in your head and you’ve almost filmed the entire thing, so emotionally you’re right at that transition from architect to becoming a contractor and that will be a difficult place to get back to.
That doesn’t sound terribly promising, and given how hard the last few video game adaptations have bombed, it doesn’t seem too likely that we’ll ever see a BioShock movie happen. At least, not in the near future. That being said, we’ll still hold out hope, as this world is just begging to be explored on the big screen and with the right filmmaker attached, it could definitely be something pretty special.
What are your thoughts on all this, though? Do you think BioShock should make the leap into theaters at some point, or is the project better off left at the bottom of the ocean?