In 2008, it was announced that Pirates of The Caribbean franchise director Gore Verbinski would be tackling a live-action feature film adaptation of the video game BioShock for Universal Pictures with Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan in talks to write the script.
BIOSHOCK – BioShock is set in 1960. The player guides the protagonist, Jack, after his airplane crashes in the ocean near the bathysphere terminus that leads to the underwater city of Rapture. Built by the business magnate Andrew Ryan, the city was intended to be an isolated utopia, but the discovery of ADAM, a genetic material which can be used to grant superhuman powers, initiated the city’s turbulent decline. Jack tries to find a way to escape, fighting through hordes of ADAM-obsessed enemies, and the iconic, deadly Big Daddies, while engaging with the few sane humans that remain and eventually learning of Rapture’s past. The player, as Jack, can defeat foes in several ways by using weapons, utilizing plasmids that give unique powers, and by turning Rapture’s defenses against them.
Gore’s films such as The Ring and A Cure For Wellness certain hit the horror beats you’d expect for a BioShock movie.
The studio got cold feet when the R-rated project’s budget skyrocketed to between $160-200 million. A budget that would make it very difficult for Sony Pictures to recoup costs, which is fair in their defence.
Gore would eventually take a producing role and 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was eventually hired to help scale-back the film’s budget. However, the film ultimately was killed.
Last month, BirthMoviesDeath claimed they got a copy of the BioShock script penned by screenwriter John Logan (Alien: Covenant, Spectre, Skyfall, Gladiator, The Last Samurai) and you can check what was in that script here. Apparently, a very familiar adaption of the video game.
The film’s original production designer was Rick Heinrichs. Rick had previously had worked with Gore on his Pirates of The Caribbean sequels and later would go on to tackle Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His other credits include The Hulk, Tim Burton’s Planet of The Apes, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Wolfman.
Kasra Farahani created concept art for the film which you can see below and is currently the production designer on Marvel’s Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston. Kasra has worked as an art director on projects like Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey, Marvel’s Captain Marvel, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, Men In Black 3, and Thor.
Veteran concept artist Jim Martin also contributed to the project. He has previously worked on films such as Starship Troopers, Alien Resurrection, The Matrix Reloaded, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic World, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Oblivion.
At some point, the project moved from Universal Pictures to Sony Pictures.
Leaked emails from Amy Pascal during the Sony Pictures hack revealed that Canadian actor Ryan Gosling (Drive, Blade Runner 2049, The Nice Guys, Gangster Squad) had been interested in the project back in 2014 via his agency and that former President of Production, Michael De Luca, spoke to them about it.
It doesn’t seem like it’ll be resurrected anytime soon, but we can only be hopeful that one day some studio executive comes to their sense.
I think Guillermo del Toro would be a fantastic filmmaker to take a crack at the project and could keep costs at the level a studio would be comfortable with. Then again, del Toro has been trying to get his H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At The Mountains of Madness made for ages and knows the hardships of a dream project that has had a tough time getting made.
Would you have watched a BioShock movie and do want to see it get made?