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R-rated BioShock movie couldn't get funding - Verbinski

Would-be director of big-screen version of Irrational Games' underwater actioner says he could only raise capital for PG-13-rated adaptation--which he didn't want to do.


In 2008, Hollywood was abuzz with news of a hot new game-to-film project. The title being adapted was BioShock, the undersea shooter from Irrational Games, then called 2K Boston. The director linked to the project, Gore Verbinski, was no stranger to aquatic adventure, having directed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. If anyone could help BioShock get the big-budget treatment many felt it deserved, it was Verbinski.

Disturbing elements such as injections necessitated an
Disturbing elements such as injections necessitated an "R" rating for the BioShock movie, felt Verbinski.

Only Verbinski didn't. Just under a year later, reports of budgetary problems surfaced, eventually leading the director to abandon the project altogether.

So what happened?

Speaking with to promote his latest film, Rango, Verbinski explained why he dropped out of the BioShock project.

"I couldn't really get past anybody that would spend the money that it would take to do it and keep an 'R' rating," he said of the big-screen version of the M for Mature-rated game. "Alternately, I wasn't really interested in pursuing a 'PG-13' version, because the 'R' rating is inherent--Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!' … It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an 'R'-rated movie with that price tag."

Verbinski went on to say that had he directed BioShock, it likely would have been in 3D. "[BioShock] would be a great movie to do in 3D," he explained. "I'd like to go into that world wearing a pair of glasses. I think in general, gaming is perfect for 3D. Anything where you're the protagonist. The kid in The Shining on the Big Wheel, going around corridors. That's what 3D is perfect for. To make people feel on edge."

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