How Bloodshot's Director Changed The Script To Focus On The Sci-Fi

Bloodshot director Dave Wilson wanted to tell a story about "the illusion of choice" in modern technology.

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Bloodshot is one of those weird early '90s comic book properties with a dedicated niche fanbase, but little mainstream name recognition. Nevertheless, when director Dave Wilson first took a look at the script, he thought Valiant Comics would balk at the changes he had in mind. Luckily for him, he was wrong.

"I thought I was going to be told, 'We don't want to change it. We like what we've got,'" Wilson told GameSpot during a recent interview. "And they very much embraced my concept for it."

That concept came from Wilson's love of a very specific subgenre of sci-fi. "I love comic books, but science fiction is my love, and there's a subset of science fiction I like to call science fact, which is very sort of [Jurassic Park author] Michael Crichton, and my favorite author, this guy called Daniel Suarez," Wilson explained.

Suarez writes "techno-thriller" novels like the 2006 book Daemon, about a computer program that begins to dominate the world following its creator's death. Wilson saw parallels between the author's work and Bloodshot--parallels he could flesh out and explore in his vision for the adaptation.

"At the core of Bloodshot was this idea of what I call the illusion of choice, which is like when you Google something, or you swipe left or right, technology companies beyond our control are curating lists for us," the director said. "I loved that sort of aspect of manipulation through technology. And I felt like the character was very much the embodiment of that, the personification of it."

As a character, Bloodshot gets his name from the fact that his blood has been replaced by billions of microscopic "nanite" machines that grant him superpowers and are capable of healing any wound, no matter how severe, in a matter of seconds. The "illusion of choice" comes in when the paramilitary science organization that invented that technology uses it to manipulate the former soldier. In the version of the script Wilson first read, that aspect wasn't present. Wilson pitched Valiant on his version, and with the support of then-Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani and help from screenplay co-writer Eric Heisserer, the director made it a reality.

But Wilson said they were also careful not to lose what made the comics great along the way.

Bloodshot's nanites in action
Bloodshot's nanites in action

"We made sure that we were not leaving anything behind that Valiant faithful would be disappointed by," Wilson said. "Between Eric, the original, and Dinesh, it was a very collaborative approach to making the leap to the screen."

Wilson also thought the sci-fi elements would help Bloodshot stand out in the superhero movie genre. "Look, the [superhero] space is quite saturated right now as it is, so how do I make it mine? Leaning into the tech of it was a strong way of doing that," he said. "I leaned into the transhumanism, the tech, the idea that we're manipulated through that technology. All of that was part of trying to make it feel like its own thing."

That aspect is present throughout the film, from the various ways technology is used to manipulate Bloodshot himself, to the cybernetic implants several other characters have, like a breathing apparatus that bypasses a damaged trachea, or a pair of chest-mounted cameras that act as a character's eyes.

As for what these aspects attempt to say or reveal about our world--as most science fiction tends to do--we'll leave that for you to decide.

Bloodshot hits theaters March 13. Read our Bloodshot review here.

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