BioShock movie director promises Netflix live-action adaptation will have some "new little twists" that will surprise fans

(Image credit: 2K Games)

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes director Francis Lawrence says he’s very excited about his upcoming BioShock movie. He's helming the game adaptation of the beloved first-person shooter game for Netflix with Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Michael Green writing the film. 

While the director was busy promoting the new Hunger Games prequel, GamesRadar+ had the opportunity to quiz him about the project. "It’s good," he tells us about how development is going on the upcoming BioShock film, "I have a really good script." 

The movie will closely follow the premise of the first game, which is set deep under the surface of the ocean in a creepy city called Rapture. Known for its twists and turns, Lawrence also promises that he’s going to keep things fresh for diehard fans of the original too. 

"Oh, we have some new little bits in there, yes," he smiles, adding: "I mean, the truth is it's game one, so we're being very true to a lot of it, right? So, we're not breaking canon in any way. But we do have some new little twists that will surprise fans, but that all fit in. We have a really good script, I'm really excited about it."

During our conversation, Lawrence also shared plenty of insight into what viewers can expect from his Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Set 64 years before the original film series, the director, who also helmed films two to four of the original movie franchise, teases that this is a very different world to the one fans know and love.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

"Nobody's done any training, nobody's in any uniforms, there's nothing slick about it," he says of the more gritty version of the games portrayed this time around. "There's no hovercraft that is taking the bodies out so you feel the body count. The fantastical elements in general are also taken out because it's really just more about the hand-to-hand combat. Because of that, it definitely has a more gritty, grounded, authentic feel to it, which makes it a little more brutal."

The new movie, which arrives in theaters on Friday, is a villain origin story for Coriolanus Snow (played by Tom Blyth), years before he becomes the tyrannical leader of Panem. Brought in as a mentor for the 10th annual Hunger Games, he develops a surprising relationship with his tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler).

The star-studded cast also features Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom and Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul. Lawrence adds that he thought of Davis for the role after seeing a fan edit of her in a horror movie poster with a "sinister smile".

"I thought, that's really cool and that's kind of Gaul," he smiles, adding that he told Davis, "You have the chance to do something really different. My reference to her was Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka: the joy in this creativity with this sinister underpinning. She totally got it and she just ran with it and created this really unique, villainous gamemaker for our movie."

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes arrives in theaters on Friday, November 17. For more exclusive insight, keep an eye on our website and the Inside Total Film podcast this week. For more upcoming movies, check out our list of the remaining 2023 movie release dates.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.