Universal Puts Gore Verbinski's BioShock Movie on Hold
by Alex Billington
April 25, 2009
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.