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Gore Verbinski spent years planning to direct an adaptation of the video game Bioshock before bailing on it last year, primarily because he didn't think he would ever get the budget necessary to make the movie any good. Directing duties were passed along to 28 Weeks Later's Juan Carlos Fresnadillo while Verbinski stayed on board as a producer, presumably as a big name to ensure the funding came rolling in.
That handover happened nearly a year ago, and since then we've heard virtually nothing about the movie's progress. Recently IGN caught up with Verbinski and pestered him for an update, and he basically still had the same promise for fans: we want to make this movie good, and until we can get the money to do that, it won't happen.
"We're working trying to make it. The problem with BioShock was: R-rated movie, underwater, horror. It's a really expensive R-rated movie. So we're trying to figure out a way working with [director] Juan Carlos [Fresnadillo] to get the budget down and still keep so it's true to the core audience, you know? The thing is it has to be R, a hard R."
The "hard R" promise is typical catnip trotted out by directors to pacify anxious fans-- remember how Joe Johnston trumpeted The Wolfman's R rating and how much good that did?--and Verbinski is totally right to recognize that making an expensive, hard-R video game adaptation is damn near impossible. Video game movies are very hard to pull off, and following The Prince of Persia's mediocre box office performance, it may be even longer before another studio greenlights a particularly expensive adaptation. So while it's good to hear that Verbinski is sticking by the project while he goes off to do other things, his cautions should be taken seriously: this is not a project we should expect to see any time soon.