Video games do not traditionally do well when they’re transferred to the silver screen, especially first-person shooters. But with Gore Verbinski behind it, BioShock seemed to have a chance.
‘Seemed’ being, alas, the operative word.
Watchmen tanking pretty much doomed the BioShock movie, as Ken Levine explains:
My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard ‘R’ film… 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.
A new director was brought in, Levine didn’t like the direction the project was taking, and thus it was killed.
In a way it’s probably for the best. BioShock‘s central conceit is driven by deconstructing how players are driven towards doing certain things with the illusion of it being the player’s choice to do so. Without that idea in place, the game’s story kind of falls apart, even if ripping on Ayn Rand is an evergreen intellectual pastime. The story is at risk of basically turning into Libertarian Hunter: This Time It’s Sociopolitical without that theme.
Of course, considering a bunch of libertarians want to actually build Rapture, that might be a reality show in the near future. We came up with it first, Hollywood, you have to give us first refusal rights.