Concept Art Shows What The BioShock Movie Could Have Been

Concept Art Shows What The BioShock Movie Could Have Been

We will never see the cancelled BioShock movie, but now we can see what it might have looked like.

The BioShock movie was first announced back in 2008, as part of a deal between developer Take-Two and movie producer Universal studios. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as BioShock creator Ken Levine personally killed the project when Universal started to get cold feet. Now, concept artist Jim Martin has released a slew of images he made for the cancelled film, offering a glimpse at what could have been.

The art is gloomy, and moody, and seems to do a pretty good job of capturing the feel of the BioShock universe. The shots of Rapture from the outside look particularly cool, although I will admit some of the indoors shots look a little off. Enjoy the gallery below:

Martin, whose previous credits include The Incredible Hulk, was brought on by director Gore Verbinski to produce some art for the movie. The movie was set to have a script to be written by John Logan (The Last Samurai). No-one bar the guys actually working on it know what the plot was going to be, but you'd assume it would be something related to the game's main story.

Universal started to feel uneasy about the film, which was to have an R rating and a $200 million budget, after the commercial failure of The Watchmen, and rather than compromise with the studio, Levine reportedly decided to just go ahead and pull the plug completely.

Source: Comic Book Movie

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*Sobs*

What could have been... though pulling the plug was probably the better option than letting the content get watered down to a lower rating. RIP BioShock Movie.

TBH all these concept art pieces looks pretty much like Bioshock the game.
It would have been awesome to see it live action, but really the alternative would be another terrible Videogame movie, it Ken Levine didn't think it would work, I'm glad he gave it the axe.

I can't really see a way in which a film would have added to the Bioshock universe.

The concoction that gave birth to the first game was ultimately unique, and part of what gave that game such impact was the setting and the strength of the bond between it and the story told. Something the second one failed to achieve for various reasons, and what a film (with its lack of interaction of debateably greater relaince on a sotry told) would, in my mind, stand no chance in achieving.

Concept art looks nice, the film would have been a disaster though, the game is fine where it belongs on a console/pc :P

I could have sworn it was the director who decided he didn't want to direct it without an R rating, Levine simply put it out of its misery after it went into limbo and Universal started talking crazy 'Hollywood' talk.

Why did someone even bother making concept art? Just go into the game and take some screenshots. There, mission accomplished.

captcha: "take wrong turns"...yes, they sure did

Avaholic03:
Why did someone even bother making concept art? Just go into the game and take some screenshots. There, mission accomplished.

captcha: "take wrong turns"...yes, they sure did

Oh, I guess it makes sense with something so obvious that other posters would have already mentioned this obvious fact.

Screw the screenshots. There are multiple videogames that would indicate what the movie could have looked like.

Yeah, what's up with the interior pieces? The exterior is spot on but why is everything inside so industrial? Rapture's hallways were mostly opulent and elegant, polished wood panelling and decorative steel columns. It was the stark visual contrast of such a beautiful place in ruins (both physical and societal) that rendered the world so truly creepy. There was never that much industrialisation in any Bioshock game. It looks more like something you'd see in the Citadel from Half Life 2.

I don't see how a story mainly about deconstructing linear gameplay could possibly work as an engrossing story on film, where you don't have anything to do with the main character....but yeah i'm actually sad this project died.

If I were to have worked on a Bioshock movie, I'd have wanted to concentrate the plot on Rapture before and during its collapse. I think you could tell a good tale about Rapture through the eyes of the various characters we see in the game as they watch and participate in Rapture's tumble from grace. It would have an almost Metropolis feel about it.

It looks similar to La Cite des Enfants perdu.

And also very drab for what is supposed to be an objectivist heaven(or what used to be one anyway).

I still think it would've been fucked up somehow.

Steven Bogos:

Universal started to feel uneasy about the film, which was to have an R rating and a $200 million budget, after the commercial failure of The Watchmen, and rather than comprise with the studio, Levine reportedly decided to just go ahead and pull the plug completely.

Do you mean "compromise with the studio"?

OT: I'm a bit sad and a bit relieved to know that this movie was killed if the studio wasn't totally invested in the concept. We've had more than enough video game movie failures and there is no need to add another half-assed adaptation to that pile.

Gorrath:
If I were to have worked on a Bioshock movie, I'd have wanted to concentrate the plot on Rapture before and during its collapse. I think you could tell a good tale about Rapture through the eyes of the various characters we see in the game as they watch and participate in Rapture's tumble from grace. It would have an almost Metropolis feel about it.

That's literally what the book is about. I can't help but wonder if it was a novelization of the aborted movie script.

I guess the increasingly common teal-and-orange "pop-out" look at least makes a little more sense in the context of a world like Rapture.

The concept art does look pretty good, and like the people responsible "got it" as far as the industrial-art-deco look of the world. That said, $200 million is a lot of money for a video game movie. It's probably for the best that it got cancelled when it did; another high-profile flop wouldn't do much good for the likelihood of seeing a genuinely worthwhile video game movie make it to the screen.

Steve the Pocket:

Gorrath:
If I were to have worked on a Bioshock movie, I'd have wanted to concentrate the plot on Rapture before and during its collapse. I think you could tell a good tale about Rapture through the eyes of the various characters we see in the game as they watch and participate in Rapture's tumble from grace. It would have an almost Metropolis feel about it.

That's literally what the book is about. I can't help but wonder if it was a novelization of the aborted movie script.

Interesting, I'll have to give it a look. I don't see how you can screw up that script given its potential for equal parts compelling social commentary and plenty of action. Not if you've found a half competent script writer anyway.

I think that the "outside" concept art here is very nice, but I find all of the "inside" material to be frankly lacking. The best part of the original Bioshock was how it brought to bear the sense that we were walking and shooting and living and dying through a once beautiful world that had broken, a beautiful place that had rotted, so that what we were walking through was, more than anything, the rotting husk of a great and glorious thing. By contrast, the "inside" concept art here is all unilaterally industrial, dark, and foreboding; without the critical element of decay and, if you will, fallenness, that the game brought. This rapture looks like a place that was always bray, dark, and morose, while the original rapture has something of a "Great Gatsby" feel, it offers an image of a world trying, and trying, and trying to break free of itself into a jubilant new day, that buckles under the weight of its own ambition. I don't see any of that here, and I'm frankly disappointed.

You sure this isn't just concept art from the game? Sure looks like it.

Anyway, he should have just walked into Universal and asked if they would kindly shut up and make the movie KEn wanted to make. It's a foolproof plan.

Proverbial Jon:
Yeah, what's up with the interior pieces? The exterior is spot on but why is everything inside so industrial? Rapture's hallways were mostly opulent and elegant, polished wood panelling and decorative steel columns. It was the stark visual contrast of such a beautiful place in ruins (both physical and societal) that rendered the world so truly creepy. There was never that much industrialisation in any Bioshock game. It looks more like something you'd see in the Citadel from Half Life 2.

to be fair it looks like what we saw was an series of sketches about one particular scene, perhaps a access corridor or other industrial sector as the characters attempt to escape. If you look at the image of the lady pushing a pram in shadow you can see the traditional art deco design from the game, if muted.

Perhaps they were going for the split world image of something like metropolis, luxury utopia in the towers and decaying industrial grime in the base. Suggesting that the original plot would focus more on Bioshock's moral/political themes.

Also notice the bell boy character showing the presumed 'jack' character the industrial gap. Perhaps this suggest there was going to be a companion that would explain the situation and provide dialogue. Or perhaps he's just Atlas.

Gorrath:
If I were to have worked on a Bioshock movie, I'd have wanted to concentrate the plot on Rapture before and during its collapse. I think you could tell a good tale about Rapture through the eyes of the various characters we see in the game as they watch and participate in Rapture's tumble from grace. It would have an almost Metropolis feel about it.

I always imagined the Bioshock movie as an adaptation of the Rapture novel, i wouldnt even have called the movie "Bioshock", i would have called it "The Fall of Rapture", that would be the best tale to tell, and the one that couldnt be easily told by Ken Levine's history telling.
I really hope the project is revived somehow...

I bet this film would have be on par with something like Blade Runner based off those pictures. Very irritating that Ken had so much creative control over this. I would have been better if the movie was treated as its own thing separate from the games.

Gorrath:
Interesting, I'll have to give it a look. I don't see how you can screw up that script given its potential for equal parts compelling social commentary and plenty of action. Not if you've found a half competent script writer anyway.

It's not the scriptwriter you need to worry about; it's the studio executives who will look at the early proofs and go, "Cut that. Cut that. Get rid of that disgusting little girl. Cut that. Make the main guy more muscular. Cut that. Cut that. Where's the love interest? Cut that. Put the product placement there..." and so on.

The Sad Panda:
-Snip-

Couldn't agree more. The interior art just looks bland and uninspired, like Rapture was some sort of mining facility or something, it completely clashes with the exteriors. Maybe that's just the concept art for the lower levels like engineering or something, although when I think about it, even those looked much better in the Games.

Anyway, I'm pretty glad this thing was scrapped. I really don't see how this could have possibly added to the universe. The book wasn't bad in showing the construction and decline of Rapture, but if the movie's story really was supposed to have anything to do with the game's story then I'm sure this would have turned it to a really forgettable movie at best. (probably much, much worse, for reasons @l3o2828 nicely pointed out) Besides, its not like video game inspired movies have a good track record or anything.

I'm kind of glad they canned it. As cool as the concept of a Bioshock movie is, the Rapture in this concept art feels more like something out of Dark City than Bioshock. Other than the exterior shots, I don't feel any of the same atmosphere.

Pretty much what I thought a movie version of BioShock would look like, the doom and gloom rammed up to the nth degree, to the point where the movie executives would think it'd appeal to a mass audience. Or just what they think an audience these days, who's into that particular game, want it to be.

Just a little confused why they'd change the bathysphere into a usual submarine. If they could put a usual submarine in, why not just put in what it actually was? Just seems odd.

 

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