There are few video game concepts that I can think of that would make for a cooler film than BioShock. When I first played it a few years ago, I found the story a little thin, but it was undoubtedly one of the most atmospheric games I had ever experienced, so when a film was announced, I was all for it. Originally set up with Gore Verbinski (known for the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films) as director with a budget of $200 million and an R-rating, everything seemed ready to go. That is, until Watchmen, another big-budget, R-rated adaptation, came out and failed to find the big success that the studio hoped for.
Understandably, Universal got nervous about trying the same thing with BioShock, so they suggested making the film for $80 million instead. Verbinski wouldn’t hear of it, causing him to leave the project, and leading Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to come on board. Ken Levine, the creator of the game, didn’t see the fit between material and director, and so he ultimately pulled the plug on the project. Sadly, to this day, it has yet to be resurrected.
Today, thanks to Comic Book Movie, we have tons of concept art from Scott Patton, who drew these images up for Verbinski’s unmade film. For the most part, they’re random shots from all over Rapture, but they’re quite stunning, giving us a good idea of what kind of environment we would have been treated to if the film had been made.
One of the other intriguing parts of this project was the fact that the screenplay came from Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan, who’s written/co-written such great scripts as Gladiator, Sweeney Todd, The Aviator, Hugo, and The Last Samurai. I had the rare opportunity to read it very recently and thoroughly enjoyed his take on the material. It was a quick read, fast-paced, and followed the game very well, making it even more disappointing that it never came to fruition.
Hopefully, one of these days someone will be able to get a BioShock film off the ground. It’s material that’s ripe for the picking, and if it’s done right, it could really be a visual marvel, just like the video game. While we continue to dream of it finally happening, check out the awesome concept art below and let us know what you would like to see in such a film in the comments section.