Call the Little Sisters, because the BioShock film is dead. How can we be so sure in the convoluted world of film contracts, where at any given time a dozen game adaptations thrash about in development hell?
BioShock creator Ken Levine killed it. He killed it because he could, he said at a BAFTA talk last night, as reported by Eurogamer.
The Universal adaptation was originally paired with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, who envisioned the film hewing close to the game’s wet, creepy undersea society. Verbinski was aiming for a “hard R film,” Levine said, “where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don’t think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood.”
But the Watchmen movie (a geek-culture adaptation of its own, and another hard R) released at this point, and didn’t perform to its substantial budget. The studio hesitated, suggested an $80 million budget instead of $200 million for BioShock, and Verbinski bowed out. Levine didn’t last much longer.
“They brought another director in, and I didn’t really see the match there–and 2K’s one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.
“It was saying I don’t need to compromise–how many times in life do you not need to compromise? It comes along so rarely, but I had the world, the world existed and I didn’t want to see it done in a way that I didn’t think was right. It may happen one day, who knows, but it’d have to be the right combination of people.”