BioShock film not necessary - Levine

Irrational Games cofounder says the company has no "burning desire" to make a movie for the sake of making a movie.

The BioShock film has been at a standstill since hitting a production roadblock in 2009, and the creative head of Irrational Games is apparently fine with that.

Levine doesn't want to make a BioShock movie unless it fits the franchise.

Speaking to Industry Gamers, creative director and cofounder of Irrational Games Ken Levine addressed the current state of the BioShock movie. Levine said, "For us and for Take-Two, it's really got to be something that will a) give the fans something that they want and b) for those who don't know BioShock, really introduce them to something that is consistent with the game and is it going to be a good representation of the game."

Levine also mentioned that any movie that gets made needs to retain the core elements of the game, with a world and story beats that ring true to the source material. The film doesn't seem to be a priority though, "For us there's no burning [desire] to have a movie made just to get it made," said Levine.

First word of a BioShock film came in 2008, with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski at the helm. Production was halted the next year due to concerns over the project's ballooning $160 million budget. Verbinski clarified the film's fate earlier this year revealing that the BioShock movie's budget would only be approved for a PG-13 take on the material, a compromise he felt was unacceptable.

As for a project that Levine definitely does want to see made, the project would be the upcoming BioShock Infinite. The game is set in a chaos-plagued airborne metropolis called Columbia. Gamers assume the role of Booker DeWitt, a former member of the feared Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which was the nation's largest security company in the late 19th century.

For more on BioShock: Infinite, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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83 comments
ck10304
ck10304

@Scar-face123 If you hated bioshock 1 & 2 I'm wagering you're going to hate bioshock infinite, at least I hope so because if the new one is that much of a departure from the first 2, at least at a core level, then it may end up disappointing real fans

Scar-face123
Scar-face123

i agree with everything Levine is saying however if they were going to make a movie out of bioshock because we can't stop them from making the movie, the should only make a movie for bioshock infinite. I hated bioshock 1 & 2 but i like the story, setting, gameplay and characters of bioshock infinite and I am definitely going to get this game. Thank you Levine for not making a direct sequel for 1&2. p.s. Booker Dewitt is awesome

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

Ken Levine, I wholeheartedly say THANK YOU. Just because a game is successful, has a great story or a well developed universe does NOT mean a movie should be made "because." If something comes along that truly can justify being adapted from the setting of a video game with a unique and valid story to tell, then by all means, make it. Otherwise, leave the material alone.

Daman92
Daman92

yay someone who respects ther franchise

bags123
bags123

Making the decision not to make a movie is a good call. Video games are not movies they are a completely different mediums. The only reason people turn a video game into a movie is to exploit the franchise and that usually leaves fans disappointed. I don't know how many times this method is going to have to fail before someone takes the hint that it does not work.

turok0
turok0

good news. The Bioshock franchise sucks, and the movie would suck even harder

leoansa2
leoansa2

I cannot remember a good movie based on videogames....Tomb raider?? maybe....Doom?? NOT!!...try again....good call not doing this movie....

NAWABRA251
NAWABRA251

unbelievable ... they have a great imagine and incredible work without movie

TurboGuru
TurboGuru

Thank god there is no movie being made, knowing hollywood it wouldn't even be true to the original apart from the name. Hollywood it is evidently clear that you are looking at games to fulfil the lacklustre of creative talent for story writing in the recent spade of s**thole films but just remember this...... you need the games industry, the games industry doesn't need you.

DreadfulGlory
DreadfulGlory

As much as I want to see a movie made for this, I agree with Levine. What is the point in making a movie about a game when it doesn't even represent the game? One of my biggest wishes is to have this game made into a movie, but not if it means a PG-13 version and a poor relation back to the game franchise.

strayfies
strayfies

All my respect to Levine here, because he's right. Bioshock is already a cinematic experience, and its reiteration as a film could only come up shorter than the game itself. I'm happier to see gamers content with what has been done rather than doing things just because they CAN be done. Too many gamer movies have been made for that wrong reason. Plus, you guys hear about that Where's Waldo live action coming out? I mean, why not just make a movie about Tetris? This is beyond indulgence, it's just too kitsch to tolerate.

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

Short and to the point: Irrational has balls and brains!! Good to see that not all developers are that eager to make every possible dollar out of their creation. Most would do it regardless of the consequences. Cheers to Irrational games!!

RgvXavi
RgvXavi

I'm glad there is no rush in trying to capitalize on the Bio Shock franchise. The last thing i want to see is this being a film adaptation similar to Super Mario Bros: that is to say I don't want it to be crappy.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

With you on this Rottenwood - the source material would make a great film, but the financial constraints necessary to produce such a film wouldn't do the game and it's fans justice. Maybe they can get round to making it themselves all in CGI perhaps, and help lower that budget somewhat, that way being able to keep it a rated R (18+).

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Pity. This would be one of the few video games that actually WOULD make a good film. Of course, it would have to be a pretty hard 'R' as a rating, and nobody's gonna pay $150 million to fund something like that. It would be pegged a horror film (understandably) and those are cranked out on the cheap to score a good opening weekend and then disappear into the night. There's just no way to make a BioShock film that's both true to the material AND fiscally feasible. Which is a shame.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ScionofEntropy and @airshocker While Bioshock is inspired and informed by Rand's Atlas Shrugged, it is not a reinterpretation. It is an extension of the novel by showing just how ******* up Rand's philosophy was, and the eventual disintegration of just such a society would inevitably come to. However, Scion is right. Much like the novel, the film Atlas Shrugged was a meandering and boring mess of emotional overindulgence being shouted from a pulpit of corporate misanthropes.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@AMCoreX The game studios really have very little say over what does and doesn't get put into the film unless they are the ones producing it. The only game studios to have ever produced their own game adaptions were Square Pictures (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and FFVII: Advent Children), Microsoft/Bungie/343 Industires (Halo Legends), and Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed: Lineage). The problem comes from Hollywood, where producers and film studios only see potential instant cash cows. And they would be, if not for the cretins they give the job to. From all of Uwe Boll's cinematic abortions (the Bloodrayne series, Alone in the Dark, Postal, In The Name of the King, House of the Dead) to Mortal Kombat Annihilation, each misstep is that Hollywood gives these projects, which have the potential to turn into the next Spider-Man, to people who are incompetent at film making. Halo as a film would be balls-to-the-wall insane if Peter Jackson were still attached. But yet, we get Sam "Emo Spidey" Raimi on board to direct World of Warcraft. Which is the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard. That would be like if Tim Burton did Batman. Oh, that's right... Anyway, as for Bioshock, it would be epically awesome if it were in the right hands. If I had to pick, either Cronenberg (Videodrome, The Fly, Scanners, The Dead Zone) or Lynch (Twin Peaks, The Elephant Man, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet). By the way, films do not carry an MA or M rating.

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

@airshocker: Because Atlas Shrugged was an objectively terrible movie.

irwin88
irwin88

Good for Bioshock reputation, if any director want to make Bioshock Movie it better be EXACTLY the same as the Game...

AMCoreX
AMCoreX

None of these gaming industries seem to be learning on how to make game adapted movies (Although atleast this guy is putting his foot down and knowing not to just go ahead and wish for the best, least he has respect for his own product). Bioshock could be an incredibly amazing film, but due to rating - budget restrictions this won't happen, only because they aren't smart enough. No it doesn't need to be an R rated movie. MA possibly, but I would settle easily for an M rating. The violence wouldn't be the issue, the game isn't THAT violent (a little bit, but there is worse). The actual theme that would bring it's rating highest would be it's actual horror factor of the game and it's story, and that's what they need to concentrate on, actual decent horror work with a proper twisting story line. None of previous films have learned this. Look at DOOM, they think "Okay it's a FPS action horror, how do we adapt that and keep it the same as the game? Oh I know we put the rock in it(righto?) , have a first person shooter sequence which totally sucks balls and have near nothing the same of the story, sweet done". The only 'sort of' recent game to movie that was actually not a total failure to me was Hitman. Considering what they did with it and how much they would've had to have done for people who don't actually play that game, I thought they did quite well.

franzito
franzito

Somebody seems to be learning from bad experiences with "game movies"

punkpunker
punkpunker

some games like Half-life and bioshock doesnt need a movie but only the narration from Single Player story.

holy_terr0r
holy_terr0r

If a BioShock movie was given no boundaries (eg: a forced PG-13 rating to appeal to a broader audience), it could be amazing. That's the problem, though; It'd have to be an R rated movie and it's impossible to get funds like that for an R rated movie. Also, I agree with an earlier comment, the game would be hard to transform into a movie; although there is the book. But damn, I really believe this could be made into a beautiful movie (assuming it stays loyal to the story). I loved that scene in the first game where you're lifted over the reef and see Rapture for the first time, took my breath away. If I ever saw that on the big screen... Damn, that'd be brilliant.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Not completely relevant to the article but what is sad is the resident evil games ARE BECOMING the movies. No atmosphere, just all action and ridicules mutations. Also, I'm really surprised COD hasn't been made into a movie already seeing how Activision is always looking for money. I'm sure though that will be an alternative when people get wise and stop buying over $20 worth of map packs.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

If a movie must be made, make it a direct to DVD CGI film. I say CGI mostly because plenty of people out there (You know the ones..... they believed the Playstation 9 commercial from the 90's was real) will claim that the movie is an accurate portrayal of what the game will look like on next-gen systems, and that would boost sales. Do 90% of the promotion on Facebook, Twitter (I hate them, but you have to admit that they work), PSN and XBL, and make a few "Getting to know" Bioshock shorts to give non-gamers/fans of the genre a chance to get into it. They could accomplish all of this with about $50 mil.

firedrakes
firedrakes

i would say their is only 10 dir and writers in hollwood that would make a good rated r movie of this.

Unholy123
Unholy123

It really isn't specially not a PG-13 one god that would suck. Everything that made rapture twisted would have to get taken out.

airshocker
airshocker

We already have an Atlas Shrugged movie. Why do we need a Bioshock movie?

sulaymanqazi3
sulaymanqazi3

we dont need a movie for bioshock. nuff said

hombreg1
hombreg1

well... if you think about it... bioshock wouldn't fit a movie format, i think it would be nice if they released idk a novel or something, that's more fit to bioshock's ambience and setting

Icehearted
Icehearted

I LOVE this guy. Didn't want a BioShock 2, doesn't want to cram unnecessary milti-player into BioShock Infinity, isn't out to exploit fans with a halfassed attempt at a movie... Why, aren't more devs out there like him?!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

GOOD. Bioshock the game (let's forget about 2) is better than most movies. Not necessary for a movie.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Yeah, just get Uwe Boll to direct it. lol . He seems to ruin every game to movie adaptation ever!!

Haasdude
Haasdude

Silent Hill was the only decent video game movie, in my opinion. Oddly enough there's also a spot in my heart for Postal even though that movie is complete garbage. I guess it's just so laughably absurd.

syam32245340
syam32245340

@ebonyflame: True indeed! Much respect to Levine.

sagejonathan
sagejonathan

Levine, this is why I respect you so much. Not only are you so creative, but you know whats best.

BRiDeath
BRiDeath

Someone have Levine talk to Casey Hudson.

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

Finally, a game studio head that is saying what needs to be said about many game adaptations into movies.

expeditopaz2008
expeditopaz2008

I see BioShock as a future animation movie, but not as a live action one. Howerver, Ken Levine is right. There's no need to do a BioShock movie.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

I have to admit that the people who worked on the BioShock series are perhaps the most intelligent bunch ever created a video game. I mean when is the last time when a game is so profound in its storytelling that it made you actually go and read the very book that inspired it. The first thing I did after finishing BioShock is to read "Atlas Shrugged". Now which other game can we say the same. And recently Levine said that games like BioShock don't need MP unlike many other game developers out there (Looking at you BioWare). I am just loving BioShock more and more.

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Gotta love Gore Verbinski for standing up to the studio and saying no i will not turn this into a kids movie.

SpookyJack
SpookyJack

Just a friendly reminder: multiplayer in Bioshock Infinite isn't necessary either, Levine.

calvinsora
calvinsora

It might not be necessary, but I'd love to see it. It would need a director and writer with creativity, though, since it's a common mistake that adaptions should stick to the source material faithfully. It shouldn't. It's taking a common foundation and building something unique upon it.

SoreBastard
SoreBastard

You know if the film industry execs actually knew something about video games and made the choice to actually follow the source material instead of worrying about whats marketable. It pisses me off so much knowing that there will never be a faithful Doom movie because of that hunk of crap that universal put out. If we are to make a successful video game movie you need to involve people who made the actual game and let them take their chances. Every time Paul W.S. Anderson makes another resident evil movie it makes me wanna punch myself in the jaw until I pass out.

Barighm
Barighm

Considering the kind of stuff I see PG13 movies get away with these days, would it really have been so bad to compromise? Bioshock's horror elements weren't that excessive. Anywho, movies only work in cases where the movie can do something the game can't, and these days, that's not saying much.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@redskinStu The guy who created the Silent Hill movie was a BIG fan of the games. He wasn't just some Hollywood schmuck looking to screw up a franchise to appeal to more people. And yes, I admit I'm a fan of the film. I think it has the same creepy, supernatural feel, albeit with a more cohesive story than the games.

sweet_jcs
sweet_jcs

Just let Uwe Bowl make it for half the budget and 10 times less quality.