Plans for a Bioshock movie have been shelved after studio worries over the budget.
Speaking with Movieweb (via The Playlist), Ken Levine, the creative director behind the project, explained that the main reason behind the cancellation came from director Gore Verbinski’s desire to do a hard R adaptation, similar to that of Watchmen.
Since Watchmen can’t be considered a giant box office success, Universal was wary of granting a $200 million budget for Verbinski, who refused a smaller budget of $80 million. Eventually, Levine decided to pull the plug on the project altogether after years of pre-production purgatory.
He said: “There was a deal in place, and it was in production at Universal – Gore Verbinski was directing it. My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard R film – which is like a 17/18 plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don’t think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood.
“Then Watchmen came out, and it didn’t do well for whatever reason. 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. They brought another director in, and I didn’t really see the match there – and 2K’s one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.”