Irrational Still Planning ‘BioShock’ Movie, Confirms Ken Levine

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 6th, 2012 at 9:55 pm,

Bioshock Movie Ken Levine Verbinski

After losing the involvement of two directors, amid numerous delays and budget constraints, Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine still hasn’t abandoned hope that one day, just one day, the often-talked-about, never-put-in-production BioShock movie will find its way on the road to filmdom.

It was little more than than a month ago, in March, that then-proposed director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) walked out on the project – the second to do so after Pirates of the Caribbean and The Ring director Gore Verbinski. Many assumed it would be the final nail in an already heavily hammered coffin, but a recent interview by Levine might offer fans a glimmer of hope.

Speaking to Edge Magazine, Levine admitted that the collaboration with Verbinski didn’t go as planned, but it would merely take the right circumstances to get the project up and running:

“The thing with Gore [Verbinski] didn’t work out, but there’s no such thing as ‘it’s finished’ when it comes to making a movie out of something.

“It’s always about the stars aligning. We’re still focusing on it, but it hasn’t consumed us so much.”

Obviously, Irrational’s main focus Levine was alluding to lies with the release of BioShock: Infinite – due out on October 16th; it’d be foolish to shift priorities now in what are surely the critical final stages of the game’s production.

Bioshock Movie Irrational Ken Levine

That being said, the fact that the Time 100 nominee still has the film in the back of mind is commendable.

The reason we’re at this point (and Fresnadillo mentioned it on his way out the door) is because Levine, Take-Two, and Verbinski opted to push for a big-budget-visuals, R-rated production faithful to the canon that no studio would commit to financing – then or now. In a sense, that insistence epitomizes the current state of video games as silver-screen prospects: No longer do the creators of artistically profound and culturally resonant IPs feel subservient to Hollywood film producers and studio executives so as to hand over the keys to a car many of them couldn’t drive straight on a runway (see: Prince of Persia, Doom, Max Payne). There might have been a time when Uwe Boll was on speed dial, but those days seem to have steadily died out with flop after flop after Razzie Award.

For the BioShock film to see the light of day, it will likely need to see an agreement between Levine – he and his grand ambitions – and a director/film studio willing to go all in. In other words, it could be a while – but it would greatly help in assuring the film is done right.

Ranters, what do you think of the BioShock film and its perpetual limbo? Out of similar stalled video-game movie adaptations like Assassin’s Creed, Halo, and Gears of War, which one would you want to see first?

Follow me @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Edge Magazine [via Eurogamer]

TAGS: Bioshock, BioShock: Infinite, Irrational Games, Movies

  • BigFoot

    A little while back, when the fan-made Halo:Faith was cancelled, the Facebook page put up a picture of an IMDb-looking page for a BioShock movie with the Halo:Faith director as the director of the BioShock movie.

  • Celeste

    I’ve decided that I don’t want to see a straight adaptation of the BioShock game story – it’s already perfect in the game and I don’t think movie format would do it justice. Instead, I want to see an original story set in Rapture – either around the time of the fall or later, or a combo with flashbacks.

    • ExistentialistMe

      I think a straight adaptation could work, but there’d have to be some significant differences. Like instead of having Atlas interact with Jack through radio you could just have him as an actual person in the movie. Say he’s the one who saves Jack from his first encounter with a splicer, they shake hands, get aquainted, etc. And from there they could have a kind of buddy cop dynamic going where they go through all this stuff as a pair, that way, when the betrayal does come it has more significance because the audience feels like we knew who Atlas was. You know, it wasn’t just Jack, or just Atlas. It was Jack and Atlas fighting for revenge and truth and all that stuff. But of course it’s not, and it never was. I think that kind of set up could create some great character drama/development.

      • Wolfo

        It’s kind of scary how well that idea would work.

    • Brian Sipple

      I wouldn’t mind seeing an original story either – or something that at least blends in original story elements.

      That said, I think Levine really wants to prove that a hit film can arise out of the world he already created, the character’s and all of their experiences.

      Of course, by the time the movie ever gets made, there might be as much richness and intrigue in Columbia, or an entirely new setting after that. So who knows?

  • Tom

    I think Bioshock would make an awesome movie! So would Portal 1 @ 2, as well as Halo, which came pretty close to being made…

  • sam

    Just stop with adaptions. Let movies be movies and games be games.

    • Gooch

      in general I tend to agree with you, but that there is a lot of interesting stuff in the bioshock universe that would make for a unique and interesting movie.

  • jwalka

    if levine writes the script then it will be good, imo the movie should be all about the rise and fall of rapture, a prequel to the game so that the hardcore fans know exactly what went down and new comers aren’t confused about the mutants and big daddies etc, it would be the most appropriate way of approaching the movie b/c they could have that sci-fi element whilst not cheesing it with electric beams and mutants that teleport.

    you have to admit, it would be pretty weird seeing a big daddy in live action running around with a little sister moaning every time he got shot. besides, jack’s story has already been told, we dont need another rehash of it b/c we will criticise it for being to different/similar to the games story.

  • Gooch

    It would be almost impossible to properly service the game with a movie, but an original story in the universe would be awesome. Ken if by chance you happen to see this, hold out for an R rating, do it right or don’t do it at all

  • Xander

    “The reason we’re at this point (and Fresnadillo mentioned it on his way out the door) is because Levine, Take-Two, and Verbinski opted to push for a big-budget-visuals, R-rated production faithful to the canon that no studio would commit to financing — then or now.”
    If this is the real reason for the bioshock movie being stalled, then i am really annoyed. I don’t want it to be some generic pg-13 action movie. I don’t even like horror movies that much, but I would rather have it has a bloody, scary horror movie, because that’s what bioshock is. Whether it is original plot or not, it should capture the eeriness of rapture, and the utter brutishness of big daddy. And i don’t know why they wouldn’t use “big-budget-visuals”, i don’t want some cheesy mechanical big daddy. I want him beautifully and realistically rendered in CGI.

    • Oooo

      I think you’ve misunderstood. Verbinski and Levine wanted all the things you said, but no film studios were willing to commit the money for it.

      • Xander

        I understand that, I’m saying it sucks that no film studios want it the way it should be.

  • babzee

    I think alot of directors are running out of movie ideas and a good movie idea to get into would be video games. Millions of people love video games and a movie made right about a video game would make millions in box office. I think its an awsome idea!




    If its like that then they should try their luck and reach out to Ridley Scott to have a hand in it. For those who are not familiar with that name hes the man behind ALIEN. LEGEND. BLADE RUNNER & now the upcoming Sci Fi horror flick PROMETHEUS.

    Bioshock visually and story wise is beautiful yet twised intense piece of material thats right up his alley