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At one point the only figurines you could get of Bioshock’s Big Daddy were collectible items that cost you a pretty penny, but if the movie ever drops don’t be surprised to see $6 action figures of those same Big Daddies appear with detachable drills and pulley-strings that release a low, guttural moan. Why should gamers expect kiddie toys from a rather adult franchise? Simple, Hollywood isn’t sure adult gamers are a big enough audience to justify a hard-R rating, which means that Bioshock could be a hard PG-13 instead.
We first heard rumors of trouble back in July when producer Gore Verbinski revealed that the movie was held up over budgetary concerns. They’re still in a holding pattern, but we’ve heard from our sources that it’s not so much the budget that’s the hold up, Universal is willing to give him what he needs, but only if he waters the movie down to a PG-13 rating. But Bioshock is a distinctly R-rated game and Verbinski is determined to hang on to that R-rated vibe. Unfortunately it’s make the movie PG-13 with the money he needs or do it rated-R and on the cheap. If you’ve ever played Bioshock, then you know there’s just no way to make this game into a proper movie on the cheap.
Talks are still ongoing and we’ve heard from our sources that Verbinski and Bioshock director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo are determined to stick with an R-rating while the studio has been exploring ways to make the game PG-13 friendly. They’d do it by changing different plot elements around. For instance one of the big ratings problems is the little Sisters. In the game they’re little kids who basically run around sucking fluids out of people with needles, fluids which they then drink. Little girls needling the blood out of victims will never get past the MPAA. So they might have the lumbering Big Daddy character, who serves as their protector in the game, use his claw-hands to jam big needles into the Rapture residents, siphoning fluids out, and then inject those fluids into the little Sisters himself. That sounds incestuous and even creepier than having the Sisters drink fluids straight out of the vile, if you ask me.
With the third game in the series, BioShock Infinite, right around the corner a movie might hurt the franchise more than help it if it isn’t done right. And Universal really wants this to be a big movie franchise. Even though they still haven’t decided how they’ll make it, our source says they’re already brainstorming the possibility of a sequel and there’s interest in the aforementioned Infinite as well.
Ultimately, though, fans of Bioshock will seemingly get one of two movies: A hard-R low-budget flick that might induce cringes and frowns, or a big-budget family-friendly action movie that will undoubtedly induce frowns and cringes. Sounds like a no-win situation for Bioshock fans. Pick your poison.