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Universal Puts Gore Verbinski's BioShock Movie on Hold

by
April 25, 2009

BioShock

In a very odd decision, Universal Pictures has stopped all pre-production on BioShock, the live-action adaptation of Take-Two's video game. Two weeks ago it was confirmed that Gore Verbinski told Disney he would not return to direct Pirates of the Caribbean 4 because he would instead be directing BioShock. According to Variety, the budget of this project had gotten too out of hand for Universal's likes and therefore they have stopped its development, and let some production staff go, until they can figure out what to do. I really hope this is only a brief delay, because I'm personally very excited to one day see a BioShock movie.

BioShock was gearing up for a shoot in Los Angeles this year, however the budget reach upwards of $160 million when Universal execs started flipping out. They are now looking at alternative shooting locations in Europe as a way of cutting costs. "We were asked by Universal to move the film outside the U.S. to take advantage of a tax credit," Verbinski told Variety. "We are evaluating whether this is something we want to do. In the meantime, the film is in a holding pattern." Verbinski and sources at the studio say they are determined to make the movie no matter what, and vow that BioShock will not become another Halo.

Roughly 99% of the video game takes place inside an underwater city known as Rapture. I'm sure Verbinski was planning on using some giant water tanks to shoot scenes that involve being underwater. However, I'm confused as to why Universal is so scared of going above $160 million. First off, they're working with Verbinski, who made the most expensive movie ever made, so of course he's going to want to spend a lot of money. And that's for good reason. At World's End looked fantastic and that's because Disney didn't spare any expense. We all want that same for BioShock, so why not let him do what he does best?

We'll let you know when we hear anything more on this adaptation and when/if they ever continue production. I'm really hoping we hear some good things sooner than later, because BioShock was one of a few movies that I was hoping could really change the way Hollywood makes video game adaptations.

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  • F.C.
    nooooooooooooooooo why would they ever do that? i'm pretty sure that if they do a good job with the movie and not mess it up like they usually do with video-game adaptions (there are too many examples to count, but let's just say a few that comes to mind first: Mario Bros, Alone In the Dark, Street Fighter, Max Payne [unfortunately!!!!]). Verbinski has a vision and I was pretty sure that he could bring out Rapture and the story behind the game perfectly, but I guess we'll just wait for that... or settle for a poor version.
  • Darunia
    Well i think Universal was lame to cop out on a 150 million budget for Halo, even though i understand that giving 150 million $ to a unknown talent like the south African dude. I still think Halo will end up being the spiderman of video game adaptations, and Universal might have missed the boat to be the one holding the keys to the bank. However, even though Verbinski is a big name director, i do completely understand Universal not being ok with a 160 million dollar budget for Bioshock, not matter who the director is, and i think there's no reason to not be able to make the movie for MUCH less. In any case, i'm glad everyone wants to make the movie, and Universal isn't opposed to a big budget, but to a huge budget.
  • Darunia
    "We all want that same for BioShock, so why not let him do what he does best?" Forgot to comment on this, well, i think it's obvious Alex, don't you think? Transformers 2 is being made for 200 million $, but transformers 1 was HUGE. Who's to say Bioshock is gonna be a box office hit? Seriously, if they give it a 130 million budget, then i will be surprised at Universals cojones.
  • Ajax
    Awww... I thought this was gonna be the one. I mean, 160 is kinda a lot, but a lot of other big flicks (Dark Knight, Iron Man) had roughly that large of a budget. If the film is good, it will make that much money back. But, then again, it is a video-game film... #2: Wasn't Peter Jackson involved as well?
  • Darunia
    #4 Peter Jackson was producing. And there's no reason this is not gonna be the first big videogame adaptation. But we have to realize, that it makes very little sense to greenlight such a huge budget. This property has nowhere near the appeal of a Iron Man or a Dark Knight or a Transformers.
  • Timothy
    160 million for Bioshock is too much, if I was the studios I'd be scared to. Give him a 100 million, but no more.
  • nelson
    if Watchmen cost 150 million to make and it was rated R almost 3 Hours long with no bankable stars and as of now it is at : Worldwide: $181,143,736 Bioshock would do fine with that budget
  • teyhtr
    Though I do believe bioshock deserves that budget, I'm not gonna lie here. It's a huge risk for a studio to invest that much money on a video game adaptation.
  • Julius
    Verbinski has a well deserved reputation for going wildly over budget, and I imagine this was a big reason for Universal's concern. He went considerably over budget on Pirates 3, and that's the primary reason he's not doing Pirates 4. Verbinski is a very talented director and Bioshock seems like a cool property. But if Universal is pulling back, I suspect it's because they see Verbinski as either unwilling or unable to control the size of the budget.
  • nelson
    yeah at worlds end cost 300 million but it made back its budget and then some so you cant discredit gore
  • Darunia
    But Pirates 3 isn't Bioshock. It's a sequel to one of the most successful movies ever, that's why Disney allowed it to cost 300 million. And Pirates is what it is because of Johny Depp. It's bioshock people, 160m is insane.
  • There's been two good video game adaptations. Hitman and Silent Hill.
  • nelson
    if wb allowed a non franchise rated r 3 hour comic book adaption of watchmen for 150 universal could do bioshock for 160
  • Timothy
    # 7 Yeah, but I"m assuming that figure doesn't include marketing which means that, in the big picture, Watchmen will hardly make anything at all. Especially since DVD sales are on. The thing about even big franchise blockbusters is that they cost so much that they really have to do well to get a big profit.
  • Fisherr
    Bioshock being one of the most anticipated games of it's year,I hope universal doesn't screw the movie and also with the sequel coming out this year.Hope they come out with a great movie.
  • I hope that since bioshock is on hold, i hope that means pirates of the caribbean 4 will get made instead by gore verbinski because pirates of the caribbean 4 movies are better then bioshock anyways!, so in other words i hope for the very worst for bioshock and hope for the very best for pirates of the caribbean 4 with gore verbinski directing anyway and jerry bruckheimer being the producer and and "of course" johnny depp being its main character like always!=).
  • Frank Fontaine
    #12 Would you kindly like to rephrase that statement to rule out the former?
  • This is sad news for sure.
  • Cody
    lame, just hope there not procrastinating the fact it may not happen. God Bioshock could be the first good videogame movie, especially wit verbinski who i know stays true to source material. Plus hes got so freaking much to work with. But then again max payne had all the content and material to work with in the world and they managed to fuck that up.
  • ha1rball
    @ #17 nice would you kindly reference :-) but to be honest guys, i loved the game and i really dont think it would make a good movie. just like i dont think halo would either.
  • @ 17. Okay, Hitman - Good Adaptation. Silent Hill - BRILLIANT Adaptation. Better? - As for the actual debate upon BioShock, you can't throw 300million at someone just because he did it well in another film, don't forget that At Worlds Ends was - An Established Movie Franchise - Had a MAJOR Ensemble Cast - A family oriented film - Also had the production of Bruckheimer (which as far as i am aware, BioShock does not) It would be like giving Peter Jackson billions evertime he makes a film just because LoTR was a success. (clearly, a bad venture for the studio seeing as it has now been liquidised)
  • Reece
    BOOOO this movie would be epic!! This game was epic because it had a story line, a solid one at that, it would be hard for them to make the movie anything less then extraordinary.
  • Verbal
    @ 7 and all others who always compare production budgets with Boxoffice figures. The boxoffice figures do not represent in a slight way the income generated by the Studios. This is simply a gross Boxoffice figure collected by the Cinema's. On average around 57% is retained by the Cinema's and local authorities/societies. Out of the remaining the studio first has to recoup it's P&A and I will not even include all royalties/residuals to cast and crew. So to say that Watchmen with a Boxoffice of $181M has a great return of the $150M production budget is pretty ignorant to say the least.
  • Bandwagon
    I can't believe he jumped on the whole...THING.
  • I especially liked the part in the game where the unicorns had a dance off against Parappa the rappa
  • John Cusack's Fridge
    WHAT DO YOU WANT?! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?! I want my drink.
  • ross bull
    well i reackon that this could possibly be one of the best games i have ever played and i don't see why people ar flipping, the more money spent, the better the final product.

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