The film will be developed by Universal Studios, which green-lit a multimillion-dollar advance to BioShock publisher and property owner Take-Two Interactive for the film rights.
Universal also announced that Gladiator, The Aviator and Sweeny Todd screenwriter John Logan is in talks to pen the film's script. The studio has not yet targeted a release date for the film, though director Verbinski said he plans to start pre-production as soon as the script is finished and approved.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said the deal was structured to prevent any hangups in production, and to protect the property. Zelnick himself, formerly president of Fox, brokered the deal in lieu of a production company.
"The reason I structured it the way I did is to make sure it gets made," Zelnick said. "One of the things we decided early on is that we didn't want to go through a producer. It's terribly important to us to have a meaningful influence on how this project is produced."
The report notes that BioShock creative director Ken Levine has been "regularly consulted" in the early pre-development phases, though it is still unclear whether he will have any formal role in the film's production.
Since its release last August, BioShock (PC, X360)--which features a heavy focus on narrative in the confines of Rapture, a crumbling underwater utopia--has often been remarked as a viable film adaptation property. Publisher Take-Two noted last March that BioShock represented an "untapped opportunity" for expansion into other genres and mediums.