The BioShock feature film has lost its second director and appears firmly stuck in the goo of pre-production.

Take-Two Interactive signed a deal to do a BioShock feature film almost four full years ago and while that may not be a terribly great span in the world of the Hollywood film industry, it is an awfully long time for almost nothing to happen. Which I suppose isn’t actually the case for the BioShock movie, because something has happened: It’s now lost its second high profile director.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the 28 Weeks Later director who took the helm of the BioShock project when original director Gore Verbinski dropped out, has himself stepped away from the project. “To be honest, by now, I’m completely out of that, and developing other stuff,” he told Indiewire. “Right now it’s on hold. The studio and the videogame company, they have to reach some kind of agreement about the budget and the rating.”

For BioShock fans who want to see the game brought to the big screen, Fresnadillo’s comments are disappointingly similar to those of Verbinski’s, who said in February 2011 that squabbles over budget and rating played a big part in convincing him to drop the project. Nothing has changed since the original deal was done, in other words, and while that deadlock drags on, the BioShock franchise continues to move ahead in an entirely new setting, rendering the film, at least as it was originally envisioned, increasingly less relevant and able to capitalize on the excitement generated by the game. It may yet happen but at this point, I sure wouldn’t hold my breath.

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