Ken Levine 'killed' BioShock movie rather than compromise

The long-troubled BioShock movie, which Gore Verbinski was once set to direct, is officially dead in the water. Creator Ken Levine has confirmed that he personally offed it when given the opportunity, as the movie adaptation risked compromising too much just so it could get made.

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The long-troubled BioShock movie, which Gore Verbinski was once set to direct, is officially dead in the water. Creator Ken Levine has confirmed that he personally offed it when given the opportunity, as the movie adaptation risked compromising too much just so it could get made.

The original plan was for Pirates of the Caribbean director Verbinski to make the BioShock movie a R-rated affair, portraying the horrors and violence of Rapture on a big budget. And things went wrong. Levine explained his personal theory during a talk on Monday, attended by Eurogamer.

"Then Watchmen came out, and it didn't do well for whatever reason," Levine said. "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."

When Verbinski stepped down, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was brought in, but the movie again ended up on hold due to concerns about the budget and rating.

Levine said he "didn't really see the match" between BioShock and Fresnadillo, and was offered a way out. "2K's one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people," he explained. "So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it."

Having been a struggling screenwriter before he joined the hallowed Looking Glass Studios, Levine said it was "weird" to find himself "killing a movie on something you'd worked on so much." But it was a rare opportunity.

"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."

From The Chatty

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    March 13, 2013 12:30 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Ken Levine 'killed' BioShock movie rather than compromise.

    The long-troubled BioShock movie, which Gore Verbinski was once set to direct, is officially dead in the water. Creator Ken Levine has confirmed that he personally offed it when given the opportunity, as the movie adaptation risked compromising too much just so it could get made.

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      March 13, 2013 12:38 PM

      I can respect that.

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      March 13, 2013 12:39 PM

      lol dead in the water I get jokes

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      March 13, 2013 12:46 PM

      Bitter sweet at its finest.

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      March 13, 2013 1:06 PM

      Thank god

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      March 13, 2013 1:08 PM

      So, 9-iron or pitching wedge?

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      March 13, 2013 1:22 PM

      Given that part of the narrative is a commentary on the nature of games, I don't think this would have worked well as a movie.

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      March 13, 2013 1:35 PM

      Thank you so much!

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      March 13, 2013 2:04 PM

      This is for the best. I'll continue to hope that we get some quality game-to-film adaptations one day though.

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        March 13, 2013 2:26 PM

        Same, film can be a powerful medium and there are some great stories out there in the game world.

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      March 13, 2013 2:25 PM

      Good for Levine. It sucks that no studio wouldn't take a risk, but much better that the Bioshock story didn't get twisted into an affair comparable to "Doom" the movie.

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        March 13, 2013 5:02 PM

        Every time that movie is said, I want to punch babies.

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      March 13, 2013 2:58 PM

      <insert clever subtle Rand joke here>

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      March 13, 2013 4:12 PM

      I think the problem with Watchmen was that not enough people knew what the big deal about it was supposed to be, unlike Marvel or DC big hitters. I waited until it came out on video, and when i finally got around to watching it, I thought it was one of the better super hero movies that I've seen.

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      March 13, 2013 4:17 PM

      I hear Randy Pitchford is good at directing movies.

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        March 13, 2013 4:18 PM

        But can he act? I'd love to see him in a movie adaptation of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.

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          March 13, 2013 6:36 PM

          We know he can act. He can fake compassion and empathy, and he is great at playing the fool.

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      March 14, 2013 6:04 AM

      Nothing but respect for this decision.

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      March 17, 2013 4:55 AM

      "A man chooses, a slave obeys."

      So very, very fitting for this choice too.

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      April 1, 2013 3:07 PM

      Rather than just killing it, if the storyline was good why not try to crowdfund the project instead. I personally would love to see a bioshock movie, as long as it stays far away from what the Doom movie did it would be something I would be willing to fund. There is a lot of potential given the amount of content in the bioshock games and some really interesting things could be done with a movie. Albeit there would have to be some adaptations to it as a single person roaming around in the bio-shock underwater realm would be boring but a small party of say 6 or 7 a few get picked off one gets turned mad by the changes that the plasmids can cause, perhaps was mad all along and dragged them down there to harvest them. Who knows, I'm sure plenty other people would agree that there is potential and would be willing to pay up front to help bring a decent movie into play.