Ken Levine Says He Killed the BioShock Film

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Ken Levine Says He Killed the BioShock Film

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Ken Levine says that when Universal got cold feet about the BioShock film, he chose to pull the plug rather than compromise the project.

Did you realize it's been almost five full years since Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski signed on to direct the big-screen adaptation of BioShock? It all started with such promise, before slowly falling apart; Verbinski dropped out in 2009 and his replacement, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, departed in 2012. And now BioShock mastermind Ken Levine says he's put the brakes on the whole thing and made it clear that he's not interested in making the movie unless it can be done on his terms.

Levine said Verbinski wanted to make a "hard R film" with "a lot of blood," but Universal got jitter after the R-rated Watchmen failed to become a hit. "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," he explained. "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."

"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," he continued. "It may happen one day, who knows, but it'd have to be the right combination of people."

Don't hold your breath, in other words - but really, so what? I don't think the BioShock "experience" is lessened by the absence of a feature film, and I'd far rather remember it as a top-notch shooter with a cool story than as a failed big-screen cash-in. Not everything needs to be made into a movie at any cost, and good on Levine (and 2K) for realizing it.

Source: Eurogamer

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Don't hold your breath, in other words - but really, so what? I don't think the BioShock "experience" is lessened by the absence of a feature film, and I'd far rather remember it as a top-notch shooter with a cool story than as a failed big-screen cash-in. Not everything needs to be made into a movie at any cost, and good on Levine (and 2K) for realizing it.

I agree, and I say GOOD! The strength of Bioshock's story lied in the fact that it worked in a unique way for videogames. This is great news.

Now that's just... That's great news;D I am so very happy to hear this;D
Now we just need the same to happen to that stupid deus ex movie>: (

*reads article title*

...

A curse be upon your house, Ken Levine.

I've really lost my desire to see videogame films. I think it was around the time the Prince of Persia came out and it turned out to be a just a good arabian action-adventure.

Games are just a better way to explore the worlds. And even the characters really. Nathan Drake on screen would be just another tomb raiding film, the silent hills were more horror films. Movies can't capture the specialness

What's the need for everything to have a film version? That's not to say that they are all bad by any means. But it just seems like everyone sees something and declares "I want a movie of that. Now!" I guess it doesn't help since after Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, Hollywood seems desperate to find existing material and convert it into a series of films and hope the existing fanbase flocks over.

I'm not disappointed to see this get shelved. I liked Bioshock as a video game. I don't need to see it distorted into a movie.

The fuck you need $200 million for?

Be interesting to see a film adaption of a game with a complex plot and detailed back story, in contrast to say Hitman or Mortal Combat. That said the whole collectible tapes thing is good for computer game story telling but I am not sure it would work for a film unless you are willing to put up with constant flashbacks.

My god Ken, what have you done?

What you had to do, what you always do, turned death into a fighting chance to live.

DVS BSTrD:
The fuck you need $200 million for?

Art Deco world, costumes etc

see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STcOAq-Ranw

Honestly, Bioshock is not a game that needs a movie. It's heavily reliant on a lone blank-slate protagonist, features most of its story told through environments and logs, and two central plot elements are exclusive to video games (the moral choice with the Sisters and the meta-twist midway through.)

Given that half the point of Bioshock was that it took control away from you, making you think about free will and all that, I don't think it's a huge loss.

DVS BSTrD:
The fuck you need $200 million for?

Thats was my thought. I didn't realize all movies had to be so damn expensive. And sure, Bioshock sold quite well is and is regarded extremely well among gamers, but I somehow doubt it would have the mass market appeal to make that money back at the box office.

I wouldn't mind seeing a story set in Rapture, but a straight up adaption of Bioshock would just be silly, and would just ruin the effectiveness of Jack, Andrew Ryan, and Fontaine.

Bioshock 2 would be a better film, but I would still rather just see a new story

bartholen:

Don't hold your breath, in other words - but really, so what? I don't think the BioShock "experience" is lessened by the absence of a feature film, and I'd far rather remember it as a top-notch shooter with a cool story than as a failed big-screen cash-in. Not everything needs to be made into a movie at any cost, and good on Levine (and 2K) for realizing it.

I agree, and I say GOOD! The strength of Bioshock's story lied in the fact that it worked in a unique way for videogames. This is great news.

BioShock has enough lore and fluff to be put on the big screen. The problem with videogame movie adaptations is that they often want to replicate the game's story. And that's just silly, videogame narratives don't work like film narratives.

I'd honestly adore a BioShock movie exploring Ryan's character and both the construction and destruction of Rapture. Basically the stuff we know from the audiologs but never actually see ingame.

I also applaud Levine for putting his foot down. I too rather see no movie than a half-baked product.

you bastards! :P

anyways, its actually quite good.
the twist wouldnt affect the consumer as much as it did in the game when he would indulge it as a movie.(also the twist is a smart bashing on the gamers....)
and you all KNOW that they always try to copy paste the story of the most successful game to the screens.

and please think about it. what had a great story in a video game but turned to shit when it was adapted to the movie screens?
image

yeah. let this sink into your minds for a bit.

Fat_Hippo:

DVS BSTrD:
The fuck you need $200 million for?

Thats was my thought. I didn't realize all movies had to be so damn expensive. And sure, Bioshock sold quite well is and is regarded extremely well among gamers, but I somehow doubt it would have the mass market appeal to make that money back at the box office.

Movies do not cost that much to make. Only about 5 or so movies with that budget or higher come out per year and 90% of those are sequels or prequels or reboots of highly successful films. Out of the couple hundred movies released to theaters. The highest grossing video game film ever is prince of Persia with 335 million dollars. With the marketing budget and the amount the theater takes away the Bioshock film would have to gross in the 400 million dollar range to make a profit on that budget. Its an insane budget that no one in their right mind would spend on something that is unproven in the box office. And in a world where Star Trek 09 costs 150 million there is no reason for it to take that much to make this movie. Ken LevineGore has no understanding of film budgets
Edit: Heck even Watchman only had a budget of 130 million. Why would he need 70 more million dollars?
Edit 2: Actually upon rereading Gore is the insane one. I was too hard on Ken

It's the fucking videogame curse. How long have we been hearing about game titles galore being developed into movies? I mean, from World of Warcraft all the way to Angry Birds and beyond, it's like every movie suggestion is just blowing up before getting a chance to flourish. You can hardly blame Hollywood too, when was the last time a game even worked out on the big screen? (wreck-it ralph aside, that was Popular IPs: The Movie) I guess Lara Croft was good? Maaaaaybe Prince of Persia? Telling you, it's going to take at least a few extra years for movies to take direct inspiration from games.

Cowabungaa:

bartholen:

Don't hold your breath, in other words - but really, so what? I don't think the BioShock "experience" is lessened by the absence of a feature film, and I'd far rather remember it as a top-notch shooter with a cool story than as a failed big-screen cash-in. Not everything needs to be made into a movie at any cost, and good on Levine (and 2K) for realizing it.

I agree, and I say GOOD! The strength of Bioshock's story lied in the fact that it worked in a unique way for videogames. This is great news.

BioShock has enough lore and fluff to be put on the big screen. The problem with videogame movie adaptations is that they often want to replicate the game's story. And that's just silly, videogame narratives don't work like film narratives.

I'd honestly adore a BioShock movie exploring Ryan's character and both the construction and destruction of Rapture. Basically the stuff we know from the audiologs but never actually see ingame.

I also applaud Levine for putting his foot down. I too rather see no movie than a half-baked product.

This is not Ken Levine putting his foot down. This is Ken Levine asking for an insane amount of money that no one would ever agree to. For the reasons I stated above.

Why are you calling him Kevin? His name is Ken.

nvm

ImSkeletor:

Cowabungaa:

bartholen:

I agree, and I say GOOD! The strength of Bioshock's story lied in the fact that it worked in a unique way for videogames. This is great news.

BioShock has enough lore and fluff to be put on the big screen. The problem with videogame movie adaptations is that they often want to replicate the game's story. And that's just silly, videogame narratives don't work like film narratives.

I'd honestly adore a BioShock movie exploring Ryan's character and both the construction and destruction of Rapture. Basically the stuff we know from the audiologs but never actually see ingame.

I also applaud Levine for putting his foot down. I too rather see no movie than a half-baked product.

This is not Kevin Levine putting his foot down. This is Kevin Levine asking for an insane amount of money that no one would ever agree to. For the reasons I stated above.

If I read it correctly it was Gore Verbinski who didn't want to make a $80 million dollar film. Levine didn't ask for 200 million.

I would love to see a Bioshock film but this is good. I wouldn't like the see it done half arsed. It needs to be rated 18s, you shouldn't censor it to try and get a larger audience. I'm just not certain if you need $200 million to make a Bioshock film. I know it wouldn't be cheap but still.

Cowabungaa:

ImSkeletor:

Cowabungaa:

BioShock has enough lore and fluff to be put on the big screen. The problem with videogame movie adaptations is that they often want to replicate the game's story. And that's just silly, videogame narratives don't work like film narratives.

I'd honestly adore a BioShock movie exploring Ryan's character and both the construction and destruction of Rapture. Basically the stuff we know from the audiologs but never actually see ingame.

I also applaud Levine for putting his foot down. I too rather see no movie than a half-baked product.

This is not Kevin Levine putting his foot down. This is Kevin Levine asking for an insane amount of money that no one would ever agree to. For the reasons I stated above.

If I read it correctly it was Gore Verbinski who didn't want to make a $80 million dollar film. Levine didn't ask for 200 million.

You know your right. I need to change that. Gore Verbinski is an insane man.

I completely agree with Mr. Levine. If you can't make a Bioshock movie right, then don't do it at all.

ImSkeletor:
You know your right. I need to change that. Gore Verbinski is an insane man.

Seems to be the case. To be frank though, if the $200 million meant that he wanted to spend as much money on actual proper decors and real costumes and props and make them look amazing then; holy crap yes please. If he still wanted to use insane amounts of CGI then; no thank you $200 mil is insane.

That and I thank Verbinski for really wanting an R-rated movie. That too a BioShock movie would need.

rhizhim:
you bastards! :P

anyways, its actually quite good.
the twist wouldnt affect the consumer as much as it did in the game when he would indulge it as a movie.(also the twist is a smart bashing on the gamers....)
and you all KNOW that they always try to copy paste the story of the most successful game to the screens.

and please think about it. what had a great story in a video game but turned to shit when it was adapted to the movie screens?
-snipped poster of PoP movie-

yeah. let this sink into your minds for a bit.

To my mind they've almost NEVER done a straight plot adaptation, with maybe Mortal Kombat coming closest. Even Silent Hill changed up a bunch of stuff like having a female main character, throwing in Pyramid Head even though the plot's based on the first game, etc.

Probably for the best, really.

I don't think it should have been necessary to spend $200 million to bring Bioshock to the screen, but if the major creative minds decided to give what was shaping up a pass, I'm inclined to say they had the right of it.

I'm really glad to have read this. If only others would have said "no" in the past, we could have avoided so many embarrassing moments in "game-to-movie" history. I will just mention... the Mario Brothers movie, Blood Rayne, Hit Man, Max Payne, Mortal Kombat and so many others just to refresh some memories.

...and please no Deus Ex movie.

Well, at least we're not going to be getting a half baked adaptation staring that guy from Prison Break.

And from what I heard the $200 million price tag was largely due to Verbinski's desire to use real water effects rather than CGI.

I agree with him in this. It makes perfect sense to not make a movie rather than have a shit version made. That said, this just shows Ken's psychosis as a massive control freak even more than people are willing to admit. I don't really have much respect for the guy, he is too controlling to the point of wanting to dictate how people view his characters. He wants to dictate what you think and what you feel about them, which makes him a broken man. But I agree with him on this because the last thing I want to see is another lousy videogame adaption.

Well, it's good he got his project out of there before it fell into the hands of Uwe Boll!
And not that I knew or remember anything about this project but while I would have been interested I don't think I'd have liked the outcome considering the history of these things.

ehh... probably a good thing it was killed. I mean I suppose if you go at from the right direction you might be able to pull off a decent script, but I don't see why you'd want to. Bioshock was basically System Shock 2. Those two games are games as in the plots work pretty much solely because they exist in the framework of a videogame.

I just don't see why everything needs to become a movie. Don't most movies suck nowadays? Isn't Hollywood always getting flak for being stale and unoriginal relying on reboots of stuff?

Cowabungaa:

ImSkeletor:
You know your right. I need to change that. Gore Verbinski is an insane man.

Seems to be the case. To be frank though, if the $200 million meant that he wanted to spend as much money on actual proper decors and real costumes and props and make them look amazing then; holy crap yes please. If he still wanted to use insane amounts of CGI then; no thank you $200 mil is insane.

That and I thank Verbinski for really wanting an R-rated movie. That too a BioShock movie would need.

The recently released 'Jack the Giant Slayer' cost around $190 mil and that movie looks like it was made with a combination of CGI from a high-school digital arts class and cardboard. By that metric, to bring the entirety of Rapture into being with any quality I think $200 million is reasonable.

On the other hand LOTR: The Two Towers cost $94 million despite outfitting enough extras for helm's deep with actual armour and flying them all to New Zealand.

My bottom line is I'd rather it be cancelled than turn into a demonstration of mediocrity along the lines of Silent Hill or Resident Evil.

How would Bioshock even work as a movie, so dumb that anyone thought that was a good idea.

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