Ken Levine ‘killed’ BioShock movie rather than compromise

The long-troubled BioShock movie, which Gore Verbinski was once set to direct, is officially dead in the water. Creator Ken Levine has confirmed that he personally offed it when given the opportunity, as the movie adaptation risked compromising too much just so it could get made.

The original plan was for Verbinski, who directed Pirates of the Caribbean, to make the BioShock movie a R-rated affair, portraying all the horrors and violence of Rapture on a big budget. And things went wrong, Levine explained in a talk on Monday, attended by Eurogamer.

“Then Watchmen came out, and it didn’t do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film – and Gore didn’t want to make a $80 million film,” Levin said.

When Verbinski left, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was brought in, but the movie again ended up on hold due to concerns about the budget and rating.

Levine said he “didn’t really see the match” between BioShock and Fresnadillo, and was offered a way out. “2K’s one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people,” he explained. “So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.”

Having been a struggling screenwriter before he joined the hallowed Looking Glass Studios, Levine said it was “weird” to find himself “killing a movie on something you’d worked on so much.” But it was a rare opportunity.

“It was saying I don’t need to compromise – how many times in life do you not need to compromise? It comes along so rarely, but I had the world, the world existed and I didn’t want to see it done in a way that I didn’t think was right. It may happen one day, who knows, but it’d have to be the right combination of people.”

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Ken Levine ‘killed’ BioShock movie rather than compromise

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