BioShock Movie Director Explains Why It Was Canceled

In case you forgot, over a decade ago Universal Pictures was in the process of creating a film adaptation of the video game BioShock. While the project got somewhat far, and even had Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski attached to make it, the movie ended up falling apart due to financial reasons. Now, Verbinski has provided even more specifics about the film and why it never ended up working out along with giving an idea of what he would have done with it.

Speaking to Collider in a new interview, Verbinski explained that the reason Universal ended up canceling BioShock was because of how upfront the director decided to be with the project. Verbinski said that when he met with executives at Universal to discuss BioShock, he was very direct and told them that he needed $200 million to make it happen. In addition, the film would need to be R-rated. Verbinski explained that if he wasn’t going to be given the money needed to make BioShock come to life with his vision, then he didn’t want to drag things out more than they needed to be.

The famed director went on to say that the R-rating was a rather major point of contention as well. If Universal was going to pour this amount of money into BioShock, it wanted the end product to be viewable by a wider audience. Verbinski said that all of the “data” that Universal had on its own end just made the studio decide to pass on greenlighting it.

However, if Verbinski had been allowed to make BioShock, he had quite a few ideas of what he wanted to do within the movie. The most interesting of these ideas is how he wanted to incorporate both of the endings from the video game into the finale of the movie. “So, we spent a lot of time adapting the script. Obviously, the big plane crash was a huge set piece, the entry into that world. There was a lot of story boarding, a lot of pre-vis,” Verbinski explained. “There was playing with how to have both endings. I don't know if you're familiar with the game but dissecting that feint to the happy ending. And then, still having the unleashed version of the ending. We were trying to achieve that, which was really exciting. Where if you watch the movie, you could get both.”


It’s definitely interesting to think about what Verbinski would have done with a BioShock movie, especially since it seems unlikely to ever see a revival. Then again, perhaps now that many R-rated films with high budgets have had great success at the box office over the past few years, maybe this is one movie that Universal should look to bring back.

Would you have liked to have seen BioShock come about as a major motion picture? Let me know what you think either down in the comments or over on Twitter at @MooreMan12.