Speaking to the infamous Quint of AICN, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intruders) dropped quite a few interesting tidbits about a number of projects he's attached to, including the adaption of the BioShock video game and the reboot of cult-classic Highlander. Here's a rundown of what was discussed--
FRESNADILLO: "You know, there’s a problem with the video game… well, it’s not a problem. The thing is, Bioshock is super complicated, it is a very high budget movie. Obviously, the studio doesn’t want to make a big budget movie with an R (rating). And it has to be an R. So, that’s the problem, I think, that the video game and the studio are trying to make an agreement about [that]."
On whether he'd still be involved if the studio (Universal Pictures) and video game company (Take Two) ever come to terms:
FRESNADILLO: " I don’t know, to be honest. It was a very interesting experience to work with Gore Verbinski developing the story a bit and to pitch with the video game. I learned a lot about Hollywood and this kind of project, but I don’t know....keeping in mind that the cost was one of the problems I would recommend to combine realism with good and special CGI. The most important thing is to make it feel like a real thing and I think you could do that with a good DP and a very real concept of the camera. You have to create a personality and the proper character to track that. But, you know, it’s a project that is on hold right now, so I’m not paying too much attention to that. Right now I’m so keen (for) another project, which could be my next movie, which is Highlander."
The last news on the script comes all the way back in 2008 and was completed by the esteemed John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, The Last Samurai, Rango,Hugo, Lincoln, Skyfall). As you can see from his filmography, Logan has written scripts for some very noteworthy projects and I have to assume that he would definitely do the BioShock game justice. The complication remains with Take-Two (formerly 2K Boston) who retained input on the film's direction when they sold the rights, in an effort to keep their product from becoming an Uwe Boll-type disaster. They remain insistent that BioShock needs to be R-rated and the studio predictably feels otherwise.
On the Highlander reboot:
FRESNADILLO: "I think it’s a very interesting reboot because I think the concept is so solid and very epic, which is something that I really love, so let’s see if we can continue working on that. I think it could be my next movie. I think it’s about following the character. I would love, if we make the movie, to feel the immortality. Immortality is a curse and I would love to feel that. You are overcoming time, but you see at the same time that the most beautiful things, the things that you love, are dying and you continue this life as a tragedy. You can’t love with anyone because you’re going to lose that person.
I would love to introduce that flavor in a very strong way in the movie and at the same time the big connection with the Universe. “Why am I immortal? Why am I the chosen one?”
In that sense, the movie is an epic. I think it’s some kind of adventure romantic story about somebody who trying to share in his immortality with someone. I don’t want to reveal more than that, but there is a new revelation in the movie that is connecting with that in a very deep and strong way. If we make it, I hope you enjoy it!"
I'm a huge fan of the original Highlander and the tv series but the franchise was heading into some dark, dark territory with those direct-to-video releases. This is one reboot I'm in favor of and it will be interesting to see how Fresnadillo put's this mysterious spin on immortality. His next feature, Intruders starring Clive Owen will hit US theaters March 30th.
BioShock is a first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Boston (now known as Irrational Games) and designed by Ken Levine. It was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on August 21, 2007 in North America, and three days later in Europe and Australia. It became available on Steam on August 21, 2007. A PlayStation 3 version of the game, which was developed by 2K Marin, 2K Boston, 2K Australia and Digital Extremes, was released internationally on October 17, 2008 and in North America on October 21, 2008 with some additional features. The game was also released for the Mac OS X operating system on October 7, 2009 by Feral Interactive. A version of the game for mobile platforms was developed by IG Fun. A sequel, BioShock 2, was developed by 2K Marin and released on February 9, 2010.
On May 9, 2008, Take Two announced a deal with Universal Studios to produce a BioShock movie, to be directed by Gore Verbinski and written by John Logan. The film was expected to be released in 2010, but was put on hold due to budget concerns. On August 24, 2009 it was revealed that Verbinski had dropped out of the project due to the studio's decision to film overseas to keep the budget under control. Verbinski reportedly feels this would have hindered his work on Rango. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in talks to direct with Verbinski as producer. In January 2010 the project was in pre-production stage, with director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Braden Lynch, a voice artist from BioShock 2 both working on the film. By July the film was facing budget issues but producer Gore Verbinski said they were working it out. He also said the film would be a hard R. Ken Levine, during an interview on August 30, 2010, said: "I will say that it is still an active thing and it's something we are actively talking about and actively working on." Verbinski later cited that by trying to maintain the "R" rating, they were unable to find any studios that would back the effort, putting the film's future in jeopardy.
Highlander is a 1986 fantasy action film directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart. The film depicts the climax of an ages-old battle between immortal warriors, depicted through interwoven past and present day storylines. Despite having enjoyed little success in its initial U.S. release, the cult film launched Lambert to stardom and inspired a franchise that included film sequels, television spin-offs, and an upcoming remake. The film's tagline, "There can be only one," has carried on throughout the franchise, as have the songs provided for the film by Queen.
On March 2008, Summit Entertainment announced that it had bought the film rights to the Highlander franchise and is remaking the 1986 original movie. Originally Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway were writing the script, but Summit Entertainment turned to Melissa Rosenberg to write it instead, with a release originally scheduled for 2011.
In September 2009, Fast & Furious director Justin Lin was announced as director of the film while Neal H. Moritz will co-produce. In August of 2011, Lin dropped out of directing the movie and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was brought on board. As of 2011, the release has been rescheduled to 2014.