Gore Verbinski Still Working on R-Rated BioShock Adaptation
Posted 07.07.10 by BrentJS
It's been over two years since Universal Pictures first announced that it was interested in making a live-action adaptation of the horror videogame BioShock with director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) at the helm. After nearly a year of pre-production work, Universal halted development after the proposed budget rose to $160 million, an average sum for an effects-intensive action movie, but a much tougher sell for an R-rated movie based on a video game.
When Universal switched gears and decided to shoot the movie overseas to save money, Verbinski was said to leaving the production, and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), taking the director's chair. However, in a recent interview with Collider, Verbinski said that he is still attached to BioShock as a producer, Fresnadillo will direct, and that the major challenge is to reign in the budget so that they can keep the planned R-rating.
We’re working trying to make it. The problem with BioShock was: R-rated movie, underwater, horror. It’s a really expensive R-rated movie, so we’re trying to figure out a way working with Juan Carlos to get the budget down and still keep so it’s true to the core audience, you know? The thing is it has to be R, a hard R.
The recent failure of Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to capture an audience proved that Hollywood has yet to find a successful formula for adapting video game franchises for the big screen. Verbinski said that, in general, he is not interested in video game adaptations, but that BioShock is the exception.
I think BioShock’s a rare one because it’s actually a great story. Me? I don’t want to make movies based on video games, but BioShock’s the one Oedipal, crazy kind of — it’s just got really good bones, and we’re really trying to figure out a way to make it work.
Verbinski is currently at work on his first CG-animated feature, Rango and has re-teamed with his Pirates star, Johnny Depp, who supplies the voice of the title character, a "thespian" pet chameleon accidentally deposited into the harsh desert town of Dirt.