The BioShock Movie Was Killed By…The Watchmen?
If you have a good memory, you’ll remember whispers of a BioShock movie that originated after the first title was released all those years ago. With a studio behind it and Pirates director Gore Verbinski on board, the project was looking very strong and many eagerly awaited it’s proposed 2010 release window. The film had a budget of $200 million, allowing the team behind it to really delve into Rapture and recreate it on the big screen. So, what actually happened to it?
Speaking at a BAFTA event in London, Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine explained why the BioShock movie never left the ground, and the answer may surprise you.
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“There was a deal in place and it was actually in production at Universal, and Gore Verbinski was directing it. And what happened was — this is my theory — it’s a very big movie and Gore was very excited about it and he wanted to make a very dark, what he would call a ‘hard-rated’ horror film — an R-rated film with a lot of blood. Then Watchmen came out — and I really liked Watchmen — but it didn’t do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R-rated $200 million film.”
Makes a lot of sense if you ask me. Watchmen was a phenomenal film, but the niche appeal( in the grand scheme of things) and the mature rating ultimately led to sales that didn’t quite justify the budget. So when studios see figures like that, what do you expect them to do? In the end, Verbinski left and the new director didn’t seem to have the correct vision for the film. At this point Take Two approached Levine, asking him whether or not the film should be canned. His response?
“‘If you want to kill it Ken, kill it.’ And I killed it.”
An act of kindness to the franchise if you really think about it. Thank you Ken.