Why the BioShock movie was doomed to fail

“I just wanted to make it a movie,” said director Gore Verbinski of his plans for a big-screen BioShock adaptation, “where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!'” That was Verbinski's goal when planning to shoot Ken Levine's acclaimed fable of underwater Objectivism: make it as scary as the game, or don't bother making it at all. Speaking to movie site, Verbinski frames his decision to leave the project as a refusal to compromise on the game's core elements.

Above: Verbinski was adamant: the BioShock movie should be as disturbing as the game

Verbinski knows from scary – and how to do an adaptation right. His Ring remake opened the floodgates for a slew of Hollywood spins on the J-horror genre. BioShock, he explains, would have been just as disturbing. “I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version,” he explains. “The R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing.” But nobody was more scared than the folks with the money: what was required, Verbinski explains, was “a whole underwater world, so the pricetag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that pricetag."

Above: Clearly Verbinski never thought of just asking, “Would you kindly fund my gruesome, terrifying underwater epic?”

A BioShock movie hasn't been ruled out: 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is still attached to the project. But with no sign of a cast or release date, the pic looks stranded in the one place worse than a sinking Rapture: development hell. Meanwhile the movie of Atlas Shrugged – famously a major influence on Levine's ideas for BioShock – just launched a teaser trailer which clearly makes it look like one of the worst things ever. There ain't no justice.

Would you watch a BioShock movie? What do you think of Verbinski's ideas? Just how terrible is that Atlas trailer, huh? Let us know in the comments.

Feb 15, 2011 

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  • jakeythesnake - April 9, 2011 1:18 a.m.

    Of somebody made a Bioshock movie, it had better live up to the standard of the game (and my expectations), or I would be seriously upset. But if they did...oh boy. I would go and see that film 5 times at least.
  • venomman01 - March 10, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    It would be interesting to see rapture from the point of view of a Splicer? I mean we've seen it through an outsider, a big daddy, and a little sister. How about a splicer thats looking for his family or something?
  • narddog - February 16, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Time to rage: I AM SO PISSED ABOUT THE ATLAS SHRUGGED TRAILER; THEY'VE COMPLETELY RUINED A GREAT IDEA! Underwhelming acting, horribly undramatic lighting, and IT TAKES PLACE IN MODERN DAY? No one but the readers and fans of Rand will care when this is released, so if Atlas Shrugged (Part 1) had any hope of being successful, then it would've had to rely on an impressed fan base to popularize it, but the creators of this monstrosity have gone forth and destroyed every last scrap of hope left in the world. This movie might as well include M. Night Shyamalan in its credits and label itself as the biggest disappointment of 2011.
  • billywitchdr - February 16, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    @Rivenscry, I didn't think the 2nd one was too great, but the first one is amazing. If you get a chance to pick it up cheap, do it. Don't think twice.
  • billywitchdr - February 16, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    That's a bummer. This sounded like it would've been done really well. As for the Watchmen comment, yes it did no have the same spice as the GN, but it was still a great film. Plus, like Bioshock, I feel that a movie that is going to be based off of this material, if done properly, will allow for the characters to be fleshed out more.
  • poothurdur32 - February 16, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    BioShock was a stupid idea from the start. First off, a PG-13 version of BioShock is just plain stupid. Where'd all the blood, gore, and Little-Sisters go? All the distrubing images? All of the swears? Second, take into account that Jack is like an Uber Hardcore version of Gordon Freeman: You can't glitch some Third Person mode, you can't see his face in a mirror, and he's only ever spoken once. They didn't even create a face for Jack AT ALL, whereas, Valve made one for Gordon for Marketing purposes. The movie would be one, big Doom (the movie) First-Person scene. It'd suck. 3rd, James Cameron is filming in the Marianas trench, making BioShock, with it's Sea-GI(LOL), look like Plan 9 from Outer Space in comparison. 4th, not counting the amount of money spent on a Sea-GI, you'd also have to spend a s***-ton of money on character design, the droves of Splicers, the effects of Plasmids, the list goes on. All in all, I'm GLAD no one's buying the rights to the movie.
  • Rivenscry - February 16, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    I still can't believe that I have never played Bioshock 1 or 2 before. Are they truly worth it? Or are they just another over hyped game that can never possibly live up to its expectations but everyone seems to buy and then complain about anyway? *cough*CoD: Black Ops*cough* Keep it up Games Radar, I look forward to the next lot of articles. Se onr svedvar sitja hvass.
  • AggressiveMold - February 16, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    I saw that Atlas Shrugged trailer when I went to see "The Kings Speech" this weekend. If I wasn't sitting in a theater, I would have thought it was an SNL spoof or something. THAT'S how bad the trailer was.
  • Zeb364 - February 16, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    I'm not sure what to make of this because I love Bioshock and if the movie was done right it would be awesome. The problem is that the odds of anyone getting right are slim to none.
  • mattdark - February 16, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    I'd hardly call the americanized version of the Ring Scary, I actually saw the remake before the original. Thought it was lacking on scares, aside from some cheap scare-tactics, it didnt have much going for it, apart from the fatc it was in english, so lazy gits who dont like reading could enjoy it. If he had got the go-ahead for BioShock - The movie, it would just be another 'watered down' version of something great...
  • kor2disturbed - February 16, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    I was talking about the bioshock movie in that last part.
  • kor2disturbed - February 16, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    @Thecakeisapie The watchmen movie was a really good movie in my opinion and I think they did the best job possible, Atlus shrugged looked Awful, and While I didn't think it was gonna be an award winner I was still interested to see how it would have turned out.
  • TruckThunders - February 16, 2011 6:53 a.m.

    I respect Mr. Verbinski for wanting to stay true to the game by making sure the Little Sisters were part of the film. It's too bad that movie executives didn't get it and wouldn't fund it, but it's probably for the best. Because if it were to be made, it would most likely be PG-13 and lack much of the tone that Bioshock had. If I really want to experience the Bioshock story in the best way possible, I'll simply reply the the game.
  • Spacegrass - February 16, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    Verbinski did the right thing. Hollywood executives hate originality, and would've forced him to stick to the patented Hollywood Action Movie formula. They would've shoehorned in a love interest, removed any element of the story that might challenge the audience intellectually, and met every demand of the focus group morons. As with all video game movies, the result would have been a film that insulted the fans, confused everyone else, and appealed to absolutely no one.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - February 16, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    I love the Bioshock series. If someone made a Bioshock movie that tells the whole story of the original Bioshock, I'd want to watch that movie. I hope the NGP gets an exclusive Bioshock spin off someday. Bioshock Infinite is my most anticipated game of 2012.
  • g4m3rk1dd - February 16, 2011 4:18 a.m.

    with a good budget bioshock could EASILY be movie of the decade...story is perfect, characters are perfect, elements are perfect...just needs to get the right funding everything will be awesome
  • batmanboy11 - February 16, 2011 3:54 a.m.

    Too bad...
  • HawtCakez - February 16, 2011 3:19 a.m.

    Just another example on how the things you really want in life will never come your way and the things you don't want will come aplenty.
  • Joshnix - February 16, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    I said this in the comments on that teaser, but I'll say it again here-- Atlas Shrugged looks like a made-for-television movie that would air on TNT.
  • red069 - February 16, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    if you made a bioshock movie.. it would have to be as creepy as the games and feel real.. it would have to be big budget otherwise people would be disappointed.. if you need an example as to why the movie would need to be rated R and have the same scare and creepyness of the game think the last airbender.. good nicktoon show.. they make it into a dark nd serious movie that isnt true to the cartoon.. it fails.. you cant half a$$ a movie redention of something game or tv show or book doesnt matter

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