WATCHMEN Derailed BIOSHOCK Movie Says Creator
Bioshock's Kevin Levine says Watchmen resulted in Bioshock's budget being cut by more than half and that he wasn't 100% confident with the director hired after Gore Verbinski departed the project.
Bioshock creator Ken Levine is finally elaborating a bit more on a 2011 statement that 'there's no burning [desire] to have a movie made just to get it made.' To summarize the sorted history, there was deal struck back in 2008 between Universal and 2K Games to adapt the video game Bioshock into a feature film with Gore Verbinski( Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Lone Ranger) attached to direct a script from John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, The Last Samurai, Rango,Hugo, Lincoln, Skyfall). Verbinski left the project and Universal brought in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intruders) to direct. The film languished in development hell for quite some time because 2k Games retained creative control over the direction of the film and they didn't like what they were seeing and hearing. Below, Levine goes into greater detail about the sticking points.
There was a deal in place, and it was in production at Universal – Gore Verbinski was directing it. My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard R film – which is like a 17/18 plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don’t think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood.
Then Watchmen came out, and it didn’t do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film – and Gore didn’t want to make a $80 million film.
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 weird, as having been a screenwriter, begging to do anything, and then killing a movie on something you’d worked on so much. 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.
So in a nutshell, Gorbinski didn't want the budget cut from $200M down to $80M and decided to produce instead of direct and Fresnadillo was brought in to assume directorial duties. Levine didn't really think Fresnadillo was a good fit and killed the deal. It's been 3+ years since Bioshock 2 was released and I think the acclaim surrounding the property has dulled a bit. If Bioshock Infinite isn't a massive success come its release on March 26th don't expect a Bioshcok film to ever get made.
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