Why Gore Verbinski’s ‘Bioshock’ Movie Never Got Made

Director Gore Verbinski explains why his Bioshock adaptation, based on the hit video game series, never came to fruition.


Back in 2008, it was announced that Gore Verbinski — known mostly for helming the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies — had been hired to direct the movie adaptation of the hit video game series Bioshock for Universal, with Aviator screenwriter John Logan set to write the film. A year later, Universal suddenly pulled the plug on the film just 8 weeks prior to shooting and Verbinski dropped out of the project altogether in the summer of 2009.

During a recent Reddit AMA to promote his new film A Cure for Wellness, Verbinski was asked why his Bioshock movie never came to fruition and the director explained what went wrong. Here was his response:

Well it’s no short answer to that question but we were eight weeks prior shooting when the plug was pulled. It’s an R rated movie. I wanted to keep it R rated, I felt like that would be appropriate, and it’s an expensive movie. It’s a massive world we’re creating and it’s not a world we can simply go to locations to shoot. “A Cure For Wellness”, we were able to really utilize a variety of location to create the world. “Bioshock” it wouldn’t work like that, we’d be building an entire underworld universe. So I think the combination of the price tag and the rating, universal just didn’t feel comfortable ultimately. At that time also there were some R rated, expensive R rated movies that were not working.

As Verbinski explains, the film didn’t happen because of its R-rating and its budget. However, while Deadpool might not have had the biggest budget, but it at least proved that an R-rated film could be successful. Taking that into consideration, the director went on to explain how he feels about the film’s chances of getting made now:

So I think things have changed and maybe there will be another chance, but it’s very difficult when you’re eight weeks away from shooting a movie you really can see in your head and you’ve almost filmed the entire thing, so emotionally you’re right at that transition from architect to becoming a contractor and that will be a difficult place to get back to.

I’m a big fan of the Bioshock games. There’s a lot of excellent world-building in those games and it would perfectly lend itself to a feature film, so it’s unfortunate that this never came to fruition. Sure, there has yet to be a video game movie to be deemed a success both critically and financially, but who know, maybe Bioshock could have been the first.

Source: Reddit