Why Ken Levine Put A Stop To The BioShock Movie

BioShock always struck me as one of the few video games that might actually work as a movie — interesting characters, compelling story, incredible universe — but Ken Levine recently revealed that he, personally, put a stop to the production of a possible BioShock movie.

Why? Well, according to Levine, it was a series of events — but mainly the fact that Gore Verbinski left the project after being asked to do it at a reduced budget. Verbinski wanted $200 million to make a "hard R film", but the after Watchmen bombed at the box office, the studio heads got cold feet.

"[T]hey said what if it was a $80 million film - and Gore didn't want to make a $80 million film," explained Levine.

"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."

Probably a good decision. A bad BioShock movie would truly suck, considering the great source material. With Ken's past life as a screenplay writer, it must have been a difficult bullet to bite. Kudos.

Ken Levine personally killed off the BioShock film - here's why [Eurogamer]


    BioShock always seemed to me like the sort of story and setting that wouldn't need a big budget to be a really good movie, but then again I have no idea what the difference between an $80 million film and a $200 million film is.

      The catering

        the extra uber violence which i hoped to be in the film

          Nothing like a spot of the old ultra-violence.

        Pretty much this.

        I used to do extra work. The food was insane, more than enough to feed a army and free. A few productions I worked on also threw in free massage and body therapy, I dont mean a shoulder rub, I mean that shit you would other wise pay a few grand for at some resort, also free. Free expensive top shelf booze on a few too.

      I think a lot of the movie would really need to rely on a lot of CGI and $80M is going to get you subpar effects.

        They wanted to do it with as little CGI as possible. CGI gets cheaper whilst real effects still cost the same.

        I guess I just never imagined a BioShock movie as being CGI intensive. A few shots of the city, a few scenes with a Big Daddy and some mild plasmid use, but other than that. In my mind the film would have been like a cross between Alien and Shutter Island, rather then some huge Avengers like visual feast.

          But even the big daddy would be pretty easy to do with traditional effects. It's just a suit after all, you can make those.

            I know one guy made one and he just did for the fun of it.

              I think it's cool that a guy who's never won an oscar, hasn't made any GREAT films, can refuse to work on movie's with budgets less than 200M.

              What a life!

        District 9 (30m) says otherwise.

          District 9 could shoot on real locations. Rapture, being underwater, would not be able to do the same. Cutting costs would just cause the film to end up with a lot of windowless, under-lit corridors. For a film like Bioshock, it wouldn't be easy to mask the lack of budget.

          if you think that number is really real, get out of town. Peter Jackson got WETA to do the effects for peanuts, perogative of being the owner of WETA and executive producer of D9. He probably felt bad for Neil over the aborted HALO film.

      The VFX is the cost, it's not cheap to create the stunning visuals that would be needed for Bioshock. an $80mil VFX fest would look considerably shittier than a $200mil VFX fest.

        And yet people still don't wanna pay fair price to the VFX companies... Considering how the games industry is very much similar to VFX industry, they should really help drive in home this point =/

          You must be reading a lot of the VFX company protests. But I do believe they are what makes movies, movies. WIthout them I will be looking at my everyday life in Cinema lol

    but the after Watchmen bombed at the box office, the studio heads got cold feet.

    Not knowing this before now I'm not very happy. I for one thought the Watchmen film was pretty damn good considering the task before them and the whole bruhah with Moore hating on comic-movies.

    Bioshock would work better as an HBO type of series - maybe with a combination of current (game story) events with flashbacks to Rapture being built. Give the story and world time to build up.

    You can tell far better and lengthier stories with a good TV show than in a 2 hour film.

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