We’ve only heard a few big announcements over the past couple of years in regards to a movie adaptation of the immensely popular video game title, BioShock. It’s been almost a year since the last update, but producer Gore Verbinski is back to remind us that the movie is still very real, and slowly making its way toward our eyes.
It all started in May of 2008 when we found out that Verbinski, best known for helming the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, would be directing the BioShock movie. The news was pretty exciting when considering how much experience Verbinski has with water-heavy productions — water being a crucial element to the underwater world of Rapture. Unfortunately, the cost of making BioShock into a movie was starting to balloon (around $160 million), and filming overseas to cut costs became the new gameplan. Verbinski, with other projects in the works including his animated film Rango, decided that this schedule would not work and had to drop out of the film.
Verbinski stayed attached to BioShock as a producer, and we were informed in August of last year that 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo would be taking his place. This was the last we had really heard…until now.
Speaking to IGN at a promotional event for Rango, Verbinski shared where things stood. He explained that BioShock is still happening, but that it’s happening very slowly. The problem, as it has always been, is budget — though now there’s a little more to that. One concern fans had with this project would be whether it would have the R-rating a BioShock movie required, and the answer is yes, yes it definitely will…but this is also another problem. With a big-budget production it’s risky to have an R-rating tagged on, and that’s why they’ve been working so hard to keep costs down.
We’re working trying to make it. The problem with BioShock was: R-rated movie, underwater, horror. It’s a really expensive R-rated movie. So we’re trying to figure out a way working with [director] Juan Carlos [Fresnadillo] to get the budget down and still keep so it’s true to the core audience, you know? The thing is it has to be R, a hard R.
A few R-rated movies have scored big box office numbers like Zack Snyder’s 300, which cost $65 million and made $456 million worldwide. On the other hand, Snyder also made the graphic novel adaptation of Watchmen, which was also R-rated but cost $130 million to make and only pulled in $185 million worldwide. Watchmen probably being the more critically acclaimed of the two, you can see how much risk is involved here.
When asked about whether other recent game adaptations such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time‘s poor box office showing has caused him concern with the BioShock project, Verbinski added:
No, I think BioShock’s a rare one because it’s actually a great story. Me? I don’t want to make movies based on videogames, but BioShock’s the one Oedipal, crazy kind of — it’s just got really good bones, and we’re really trying to figure out a way to make it work.
Personally, I don’t think budget is the most important thing here. For me it all rests in the hands of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. With very little previous work on his resume, it’s tough to tell what kind of quality film we’re going to get. If he can find a way to channel his inner Neil Blomkamp and pull off a District 9-esq production (R-rated, low budget, top quality all-around), we the fans will be happy.
Anything else could be disastrous.
[Photo Credit: Dim Horizons]