BioShock movie, trilogy plans surface

Take-Two reveals in post-earnings call that Verbinski-helmed film is more likely to coincide with third installment in acclaimed dystopian shooter franchise.

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It was a short three months ago that Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick officially revealed the second installment in 2K Boston's Ayn Rand-inspired undersea dystopian shooter franchise BioShock. As noted at that time by Zelnick during a post-earnings conference call with investors and analysts, Take-Two's newly formed 2K Marin studio would take the reins from Ken Levine's 2K Boston outfit for the follow-up to the award-winning shooter.

Three months on, and Zelnick is once again talking BioShock. In a conference call following the publisher's GTAIV-bolstered fiscal second quarter financial report, Zelnick teased the existence of a third installment in the acclaimed franchise. In response to a question concerning the Gore Verbinski-helmed theatrical release of BioShock, Zelnick said that the movie's release is more likely to fall in proximity to BioShock 3, rather than BioShock 2.

"It's unlikely that the picture would be released to coincide with BioShock 2," said Zelnick. "It would be more likely that it would be released coincidentally with BioShock 3. That also remains to be seen."

Exact time frames, he noted, have yet to be hammered out, however. BioShock 2 is due out sometime during the August-October quarter of 2009, and platforms for the title have not yet been confirmed. In the wake of impressive sales last October, Zelnick said BioShock was "a very important franchise" for Take-Two and that "roughly an every-three-year [release] schedule would be optimal" for new installments.

In early May, Take-Two announced that it had signed on Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski to direct the film adaptation of BioShock and that Academy Award-nominated writer John Logan (Aviator, The Time Machine) was in talks with Universal Studios to pen the screenplay. Further details--such as an anticipated release window or casting decisions--were not revealed at that time.

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