Speaking at a BAFTA event in London last night, Ken Levine explained how it was his call to can the BioShock film—a decision he made after budgetary compromises and a change of directors.
“There was a deal in place and it was actually in production at Universal, and Gore Verbinski was directing it,” said Levine. “And what happened was—this is my theory—it’s a very big movie and Gore was very excited about it and he wanted to make a very dark, what he would call a ‘hard-rated’ horror film—an R rated film with a lot of blood. Then The Watchmen came out—and I really liked The Watchmen—but it didn’t do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film.
“So they said, ‘Gore, what about it if it was an $80 million film?’ and enough time had gone by where Gore didn’t want to make an $80 million dollar film. And so they brought another director in and I didn’t really see the match there—Take Two is one of those companies that gives a lot of trust to their creative people and so they said to me, ‘if you want to kill it Ken, kill it.’ And I killed it.
“Which was weird, having been a screenwriter going around begging to re-write any script to being in a position where you’re killing a movie that you worked so much on. It was saying, ‘You know what? I don’t need to compromise.’ I had the [Bioshock] world, and I didn’t what to see it done in a way I didn’t think was right.”
While BioShock may not get the silver screen treatment, its legacy lives on in BioShock Infinite, which soars onto PC, PS3,and Xbox 360 March 26.