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BioShock Movie Killed Due to Budget Issues, Watchmen Numbers

Posted March 12, 2013 by Esteban Cuevas in News

Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine has revealed why he decided to kill the BioShock movie, which Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinkski was at one point going to direct with Universal Pictures, at a BAFTA event in London last night. Levine said the commercial letdown of 2009’s The Watchmen may have led Universal executives to grow weary of the project.

“There was a deal in place and it was actually in production at Universal, and Gore Verbinski was directing it,” Levine said. “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.”

Levine says that Verbinski was not interested in making a BioShock movie with a lower budget, believed to be somewhere around $80 million, and so he left. Verbinski himself said that the budget would only be approved if the movie was a PG-13 rated film, which he would not compromise with. “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.”

Although Levine did not name the new director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of 28 Weeks Later and Intact fame was Verbinski’s replacement and himself left the project a year ago. “Which was weird, having been a screenwriter going around begging to rewrite any script to being in a position where you’re killing a movie that you worked so much on,” Levine said of canceling the movie. “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.”

The BioShock movie was announced in 2008 and was stopped a year after due to concerns about the budget going over $160 million. What do you think? Did Ken Levine make the right decision? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Esteban Cuevas

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