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Why was the Bioshock movie given the axe?

03.12.2013

I have friends who are crazy about Bioshock. My same friend who pestered me about BREAKING BAD, was the same who earlier kept trying to push his copy of Bioshock on me, "This game is great. It's within this universe that's crazy, but kind of beautiful at the same time. When I started playing, I couldn't put it down." I caved on that, but never ended up finishing it because of some series or other game or something of the like. I think Fallout 3 eventually sort of filled the void. I'd like to go back and revisit it though.

At one point, fans were excited to hear that a movie adaptation of the game was coming via Gore Verbinski. Then, everything sort of fell apart. It was a sad day. Bioshock creator, Ken Levine recently spoke with Eurogamer about the falling out and why the adaptation may not ever happen:

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 an $80 million film - and Gore didn't want to make an $80 million film... They brought another director in, and I didn't really see the match there - and 2K's one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.

The film moved on to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo as a director after Verbinski, but its fate was already sealed at that point. Levine was no stranger to what happens in Hollywood, and knew the balance between being involved with games and cinema. With anything that is created then becomes successful, the person who created it feels a huge amount of pride and protection over their work. Levine thought that if it wasn't going to happen the right way, then it didn't need to happen at all. At least not at this time:

"It was weird, as having been a screenwriter, begging to do anything, and then killing a movie on something you'd worked on so much. It was saying I don't need to compromise - how many times in life do you not need to compromise? It comes along so rarely, but I had the world, the world existed and I didn't want to see it done in a way that I didn't think was right. It may happen one day, who knows, but it'd have to be the right combination of people.

Check out the full interview with Levine below.

Source: EurogamerGeekTyrant

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4:00PM on 03/14/2013
Would have been a tough movie to film and stay true to the material anyway...
Would have been a tough movie to film and stay true to the material anyway...
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11:24AM on 03/13/2013
Video game adapted movies don't usually turn out so well, anyways. Its probably for the best this thing got shut down.
Video game adapted movies don't usually turn out so well, anyways. Its probably for the best this thing got shut down.
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9:14AM on 03/13/2013
I'd rather them kill it than not do it justice.
I'd rather them kill it than not do it justice.
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7:46AM on 03/13/2013
Big budget movies like John Carter and Battleship sort of set an example when big-budget movies go wrong.
Big budget movies like John Carter and Battleship sort of set an example when big-budget movies go wrong.
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7:11AM on 03/13/2013

Margin for Error was huge

These games depend a lot on tone and aesthetic. The story itself is pretty thin, and relies a lot on a very crude understanding of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." A lot of the game itself is fetch quests, first person shooting, and story uncovering. That's not exactly a stellar narrative. Granted - what I've described is applicable to a huge swath of games - and that's why there are few film adaptations of games, and fewer good ones. You have to back a narrative and plot that will fit into the
These games depend a lot on tone and aesthetic. The story itself is pretty thin, and relies a lot on a very crude understanding of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." A lot of the game itself is fetch quests, first person shooting, and story uncovering. That's not exactly a stellar narrative. Granted - what I've described is applicable to a huge swath of games - and that's why there are few film adaptations of games, and fewer good ones. You have to back a narrative and plot that will fit into the preexisting elements. This game is good, but it teeters on disaster; it relies on an unconventional quirkiness that could have easily been horribly executed. A lack of budget would have ruined an adaptation into a dark muddy mess, and any director/screenwriter that didn't have a passion for the project, and the talent to back it up would have left any film a convoluted mess. At worse, the essence of the game would have been crippled, and a bad movie would have been stacked on top. This was definitely not the movie for Hollywood to suddenly learn how to adapt video games into film experiences.
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9:22AM on 03/13/2013
That's why I wouldn't directly adapt the game, but the audio diaries within it. In Bioshock, everythin's already gone to hell and you learn about the downfall of Rapture through audio diaries. Why not turn back the clock for the movie and have it be a prequel leading up to the game. GAME SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!:The final scene of the movie can be when you think Fontaine is dead and then there are reports of a plane crash. A silhouetted man picks up a radio and introduces himself as Atlas as the
That's why I wouldn't directly adapt the game, but the audio diaries within it. In Bioshock, everythin's already gone to hell and you learn about the downfall of Rapture through audio diaries. Why not turn back the clock for the movie and have it be a prequel leading up to the game. GAME SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!:The final scene of the movie can be when you think Fontaine is dead and then there are reports of a plane crash. A silhouetted man picks up a radio and introduces himself as Atlas as the camera slowly spins around him, revealing that it's none other than Frank Fontaine with one last trick up his sleeve, then roll credits.
11:29AM on 03/13/2013
No offense, but that sounds like fan fic, and doesn't sound like the quality project everybody was holding out for. Personally - I don't see why a movie needs to be made, just because the game was well told.
No offense, but that sounds like fan fic, and doesn't sound like the quality project everybody was holding out for. Personally - I don't see why a movie needs to be made, just because the game was well told.
1:19PM on 03/13/2013
No offense taken, but to me it seems like the best route, since MOST of the backstory and plot information is given through audio diaries that fill in the gaps as you're playing. That's really where most of the plot is until the final stretch of the game so I think making a movie set before the game about the war between Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine, showing Rapture at it's peak, starting to crumble, would make the most sense. Because while I love the game, that bit of story alone wouldn't
No offense taken, but to me it seems like the best route, since MOST of the backstory and plot information is given through audio diaries that fill in the gaps as you're playing. That's really where most of the plot is until the final stretch of the game so I think making a movie set before the game about the war between Andrew Ryan and Frank Fontaine, showing Rapture at it's peak, starting to crumble, would make the most sense. Because while I love the game, that bit of story alone wouldn't cut it, especially since the character of Jack is YOU, and not much of a character at all. But Ryan and Fontaine? Those are characters that can be fleshed out well on screen I think.
-10
2:44AM on 03/13/2013
Honestly, this game's story lost all credibility for me the moment the main character picks up a random syringe off of the floor and injects himself with it. There was no motivation for this whatsoever. He accidentally discovers an underwater city, knows nothing about it, and his first instinct is to pick up an old needle and inject himself with it? Who does that? What if the needle was filled with aids or cancer? He didn't know!
Honestly, this game's story lost all credibility for me the moment the main character picks up a random syringe off of the floor and injects himself with it. There was no motivation for this whatsoever. He accidentally discovers an underwater city, knows nothing about it, and his first instinct is to pick up an old needle and inject himself with it? Who does that? What if the needle was filled with aids or cancer? He didn't know!
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7:04AM on 03/13/2013
But the underwater city didn't phase you.
But the underwater city didn't phase you.
11:19AM on 03/13/2013
I dont think you played the game. You definetly dont pick up a random syringe in the city for no reason, your character is following the directions of the games main villain, who convinces you he's an ally. And if you played the game, you would ALSO know that finding the city wasnt an accident at all, it was all a set up by said villain. So......
I dont think you played the game. You definetly dont pick up a random syringe in the city for no reason, your character is following the directions of the games main villain, who convinces you he's an ally. And if you played the game, you would ALSO know that finding the city wasnt an accident at all, it was all a set up by said villain. So......
1:07AM on 03/13/2013

Breaking News: Movie executives are stupid

I've never understood the thinking of the studio bosses. "This movie didn't do well, so we can't do that thing we wanted to do" even if the only thing it has in common is a similar budget and rating.
I've never understood the thinking of the studio bosses. "This movie didn't do well, so we can't do that thing we wanted to do" even if the only thing it has in common is a similar budget and rating.
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7:02AM on 03/13/2013
No, they're risk averse. They're a difference. I'm not saying they always make the best decisions in hindsight, but if you were left in charge of the sums of money they are responsible for maintaining and growing, you might appreciate their position a little bit more.

It's not like they are sitting around with monopoly money, thinking about how if only they could frustrate jackieblue62 a little bit more.
No, they're risk averse. They're a difference. I'm not saying they always make the best decisions in hindsight, but if you were left in charge of the sums of money they are responsible for maintaining and growing, you might appreciate their position a little bit more.

It's not like they are sitting around with monopoly money, thinking about how if only they could frustrate jackieblue62 a little bit more.
12:10AM on 03/13/2013

Did Watchmen do badly though?

I thought it ended up making like a $50-55 million profit. Not a HUGE profit, but I certainly wouldn't call it a failure.

That said, I love the game and think it would lend itself pretty well to a movie, but I'm glad they killed it instead of settling for something less than they wanted to do.
I thought it ended up making like a $50-55 million profit. Not a HUGE profit, but I certainly wouldn't call it a failure.

That said, I love the game and think it would lend itself pretty well to a movie, but I'm glad they killed it instead of settling for something less than they wanted to do.
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