Would you kindly get really hype? Netflix today announced, alongside Take-Two Interactive, that it is developing a BioShock movie and has agreed to terms to develop the film after nearly a year of negotiation. The plan is not just for a one-off film but an entire cinematic universe based on the property.
Things are very early on as Take-Two and Netflix have just agreed to the deal, which will bring the world of Rapture and its mutated population to the big screen. There is no writer or director attached. It isn’t clear if the film will be an adaptation of the first game or simply take place in the world created. The first two games in the series take place in a different time and place than the third, BioShock Infinite, and Infinite obviously set up the opportunity to have a BioShock multiverse play out across a plethora of mediums.
Take-Two has been trying to get a BioShock movie made since the first game came out in 2007 and was an instant classic and smash hit, often getting tantalizingly close. The movie, however, routinely hit issues as Universal scooped up the rights but didn’t want to make an R-rated movie and butted heads with both Gore Verbinski and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who were tapped to direct at different points in time. Eventually, the rights lapsed, and Netflix seems to have swooped in for the BioShock movie. The streamer will hopefully not be as squeamish about what is probably a necessary R rating, and it also has a strong history of letting creatives do whatever the hell they want.
It will be extremely interesting to see how the world of BioShock expands into another medium. The games are so entrenched thematically in deconstructing the player’s role and complicity in the actions of the game that taking interaction out of the franchise seems like it could be detrimental. However, the multiverse established in the games is also stunning and creative and not like much else on TV, so Netflix could have a true original on its hands.