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Bioshock is one of the many potential video game adaptation we've talked about over the years, usually in the context of "someone wants it to happen, but there's nothing going just yet." Yes, for a while Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was planning to make it, but nearly as soon as he made the commitment the project stalled out. Even when director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was hired to replace him, Verbinski stuck around as producer to tamp down our hopes, explaining that an expensive R-rated movie was a hard thing to get made in this world.
It's been nearly two years since Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine was out there promising the movie was still possible, and in that time, the wind seems to have finally gone out of his sails. Talking to Eurogamer.net, Levine admitted that he personally killed the Bioshock project, and that the entire idea has been dicey since back in 2009-- when Watchmen, of all things, sealed its fate:
"My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard R film - which is like a 17/18 plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don't think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood. Then Watchmen came out, and it didn't do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film - and Gore didn't want to make a $80 million film.
After Verbinski's departure Fresnadillo was brought in, and Levine says "I didn't really see the match there." Given the power to call off the project, Levine did just that, though he doesn't explain why he was still talking up the movie's potential nearly two years after Fresnadillo was hired. Even though Hollywood was far from given up on their efforts to make the first genuinely good video game movie, it can't be hard for a smart video game executive to see the writing on the wall and get out of that side of the business. But the moment some other hard-R video game adaptation manages to be a success, I'd bet serious money we'll start hearing this talk start up all over again. And if you want to keep the dream alive personally, you can always go back and peruse these fan-made posters and hope someone in charge might pay attention… someday.