Pirates of the Caribbean director reveals his plans for scrapped BioShock movie

BioShock movie
(Image credit: 2K Games)

Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski has revealed more about his scrapped BioShock movie.

Speaking to Collider, the director talked about why the movie never made it to the big screen. "It was strange, my first meeting at Universal on BioShock was sitting in a room and saying, 'Hey guys, this is a $200 million R rated movie,'" he said. "And it was silent... And I think everybody at the studio was well, yeah, okay, maybe. Wow, no. It's big, we know."

He added, echoing previous comments: "We were now about to start shooting a $200 million R-rated movie and they chickened out. I think, Watchmen had just come out right before that or something. So, there was a little bit of, these movies need to be PG-13. If they cost that much, they need to be PG-13."

BioShock sees its protagonist Jack crash land into the ocean, and discover a hidden underwater city named Rapture. The setting doesn't quite live up to its name, though, as it's infested with murderous inhabitants named Splicers and giant enemies with drill-hands called Big Daddies. Jack can develop strange powers of his own via injections that alter his genetic code and aid him in his fight to the surface. There are also two endings, depending on the player's choices.

As for what the movie would have featured, Verbinski talked about an action set-piece of an opener, like the game itself. "Obviously, the big plane crash was a huge set piece, the entry into that world," the director said. "There was a lot of story boarding, a lot of pre-vis."

He also said the film would have incorporated both of the game's finales: "There was playing with how to have both endings. I don't know if you're familiar with the game but dissecting that feint to the happy ending. And then, still having the unleashed version of the ending. We were trying to achieve that, which was really exciting. Where if you watch the movie, you could get both. The set piece thing to me... I don't like generic action if there's not story through line."

Verbinski's take on the game sounds fascinating, so it's a shame it never made it to the big screen. We're pretty curious to know how the film could have included the two endings as well. 

Still, there are plenty of films to look forward to this year, and you can check out our guide to 2021's movie release dates to start getting excited.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.