Would you kindly explain why the BIOSHOCK movie was killed?

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As technology progresses. videogames become more like movies by the day. You want to live through a Michael Bay movie, all explosions and no brains? Go play Call of Duty. Slow build murder mystery more to your liking? Try out Heavy Rain. But if it’s low-fi sci-fi with a mature story, grand ideologies and moral conundrums that you’re after, you simply couldn’t do any better than Bioshock.

The multiple award winning game’s cinematic presentation also made it perfect for a big screen adaptation. Many people, including director Gore Verbinski, thought so. And then they suddenly didn’t. Why was that?

Well according to Ken Levine, creative director for the game, he’s the man who dropped the axe on the project. But apparently the death knell began with lots of blood and a couple of messed up superheroes (including one giant blue penis), as he explained to Eurogamer.

“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 [game publisher] 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.”

Honestly, as great as it would have been to see a Big Daddy up on the big screen, this was the right call. Videogame adaptations have a horrible reputation for a reason – Darryn still wakes up screaming about Street Fighter – The Legend of Chun Li and I’ve been planning to rewatch Super Mario Bros for ages now, but I just can’t find a bag of cocaine big enough to get me through it – as developers seem to just stop caring what treatment their creations get as long as they make a quick buck. Luckily Levine and Irrational Games are not those kind of developers.

“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.”

You can watch the full interview down below, during which Eurogamer interviews Levine about the newest game in the series, Bioshock Infinite, which apparently is a game that needs to be played by anybody possessing a brain.

Last Updated: March 13, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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