The BioShock film appears to be moving forward but it will do so without director Gore Verbinski, who has dropped out of the project as a result of the decision to make the movie overseas.
Verbinski signed on to the BioShock movie in mid-2008 and as recently as April of this year he chose it over the opportunity to direct the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. But a ballooning budget, which at one point topped $160 million, led Paramount executives to look at the less expensive option of filming overseas, putting production into a “holding pattern” and leading Verbinski to say, “I’m weighing whether I can physically go the U.K. or Australia or one of those other places with a tax rebate for a year-and-a-half.”
Paramount is apparently determined to take advantage of the cheaper locations overseas and Verbinski has decided he can’t follow, saying he’s committed to directing the upcoming animated film Rango. Taking his place at the helm will be Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, best known to American audiences as the man behind the action-horror flick 28 Weeks Later. Verbinski will remain involved with the film as a producer.
I have no doubt that hordes of gamers will be up in arms over Verbinsk’s departure but I don’t see it as a major blow. The Ring was a remake and while the first Pirates of the Caribbean was amusing enough, the sequels were tedious and insipid. He may be a “big name” but he doesn’t strike me as an especially big talent, so handing the reins to a relative unknown seems more like a sideways shuffle than an actual step back.