Remember the BioShock movie? Turns out it got canceled just weeks before filming

Director Gore Verbinski, whose psychological thriller A Cure for Wellness is debuting tomorrow, recently jumped on Reddit to promote his new movie in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, but ended up providing an interesting update on one of his older films that never came to pass: BioShock.

Some of you may recall that Verbinski (who also helmed Pirates of the Caribbean 1, 2, and 3) was all set to direct a film adaptation of BioShock back in 2009, but the project suddenly fell apart with only two months left before cameras started rolling - and now we know why.

“We were eight weeks prior shooting when the plug was pulled,” Verbinski wrote. “It's an R rated movie. I wanted to keep it R rated, I felt like that would be appropriate, and it's an expensive movie. It's a massive world we're creating and it's not a world we can simply go to locations to shoot.” He explained that the production was aiming to “build an entire underworld universe,” a decision that gave the executives at Universal some pause.

The director also cited the failures of some other high-profile projects around that time as factors that may have spooked the studio into backing out. “At that time also there were some R rated, expensive R rated movies that were not working,” he said, possibly referring to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, which ended up making $107 million in the US on a $130 million budget. “So I think things have changed and maybe there will be another chance, but it's very difficult when you're eight weeks away from shooting a movie you really can see in your head and you've almost filmed the entire thing, so emotionally you're right at that transition from architect to becoming a contractor and that will be a difficult place to get back to.”

It sounds like Verbinski himself may not be the one to ultimately translate that game to the big screen, but fans are certainly hoping that someone will eventually come along and deliver on the game’s cinematic potential. What do you think? Do you want to see a BioShock movie, or should Hollywood leave this one alone? Let us know in the comments.

Image: concept artist Kasra Farahani

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.