Verbinski Explains “Bioshock” Film Collapse

It has been almost ten years since it was first announced that “Pirates of the Carribean” and “The Ring” director Gore Verbinski was pursuing a film adaptation of the acclaimed video game series “BioShock”.

The choice was met with a good reaction, but after a year’s work the film disappeared from Universal’s slate and hasn’t re-appeared since despite reports of Verbinski still pursuing the property. Ultimately he moved on to several other projects, including “A Cure For Wellness” opening this week.

So just what happened exactly? At the time it was suggest the material’s inherent disturbing elements meant it could only work with an R rating, not good for a film that also required a major budget. During an AMA on the Reddit movies thread, Verbinski explains how it all went down:

“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. 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.”

The success of “Deadpool” last year has led to several major studio tentpoles experimenting with R ratings again, while completely digital environments are becoming much more common place and cheaper to produce on film – meaning that one day hopefully soon – someone will pursue getting Rapture onto the big screen again.