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Ken Levine personally canned BioShock movie

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."

8 comments

  • lewis-barclay - March 14, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    The moment I heard of them making a bioshock movie I knew it was going to suck. I love bioshock but knew EXACTLY what they were gonna do. Ruin it. Like resident evil which needs TO DIE!!!
  • venomman01 - March 13, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    Exactly, make it right or don't make it at all.
  • mafyooz - March 13, 2013 12:54 a.m.

    Excellent news. Films based on games generally suck even worse than games based on films.
  • Bloodstorm - March 12, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Sounds a lot like what happened to the Halo movie. These studios have to realize these franchises are big, and they need more than these tiny budgets to be anything other than terribly mediocre.
  • BladedFalcon - March 12, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    That's very refreshing and fortunate news. I mean, sure, I'd love to see a Bioshock movie done right, but if you're gonna half ass it, (Like Hollywood has pretty much done for every single videogame adaptation thus far >_>) then you might as well not even bother. So I'm glad Levine did what he did. It's just such a shame that not every videogame creator seems to have this kind of control, power or clout over a potential movie adaptation of a game. Think of all the pain and disappointment we could have been spared if they did...
  • shawksta - March 12, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    GOOD
  • Z-man427 - March 12, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Definitely the right course of action.
  • winner2 - March 12, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    I'm glad he did, I'd hate to see the bioshock world get misrepresented.

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