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Bioshock Movie Cancelled Only Weeks Before It Was Due To Start Filming

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Feb 17, 2017
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Remember that long talked about R-rated Bioshock movie? Well, it now looks like the ill-fated adaptation came closer to existence than we realized. Appearing on a Reddit AMA to promote his new film – A Cure For Wellness – visionary director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) revealed that Universal cancelled the Bioshock movie just weeks before filming was due to start.

“I wanted to keep it R-rated” Verbsinki revealed.  “I felt like that would be appropriate, and it’s an expensive movie. It’s a massive world we’re creating and it’s not a world we can simply go to locations to shoot. [For] A Cure For Wellness, we were able to really utilize a variety of location to create the world. Bioshock wouldn’t work like that; we’d be building an entire underworld universe. So I think [because of] the combination of the price tag and the rating, Universal just didn’t feel comfortable ultimately.”

Verbinski then goes on to mention that a recent high-budget R-Rated movie failure made Universal hesitant, likely referring to Zack Snyder’s ambitious 2009 Comic book movie – Watchmen. With Watchmen costing an eye-watering $130 million dollars but only grossing $107 million, Bioshock’s budget surpassing $160million quickly scared Universal off. Still, thanks to recent unlikely R-Rated success stories like Deadpool, the director acknowledges that “things have changed”, suggesting that the movie might have “another chance.”

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Following the game’s hugely successful launch in 2007, Universal quickly  snapped up the movie rights, announcing that it would bring Rapture to the big screen in 2010. Unfortunately, the project soon fell apart, with the movie’s untimely cancellation largely remaining a mystery – until now.

After attempting but failing to reimagine the Bioshock movie as a PG-13 tale, Verbinski soon handed the project over to 28 Days Later director Carlos Fresnadillo in 2011. With the game’s creator Ken Levine not liking Fresnadillo’s vision for the movie, Levine eventually pulled the plug on the project in 2013.

Bioshock quickly became one of the most acclaimed video games ever made. Thanks to its unique setting, brilliant gameplay and gripping story, the game spawned two successful sequels, with its last entry ( Bioshock Infinite) releasing in 2013. Given the brilliantly dark aesthetic of Verbinski’s upcoming A Cure For Wellness, it looks like Verbinski could have done a brilliant job in capturing the game’s foreboding atmosphere. With Ken Levine still not ruling out a Bioshock movie, let’s hope that the two will manage to work together to bring Rapture to the big screen in the future.

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A Cure For Wellness is out in US theaters now. The film hits UK cinemas on February 23rd. Stay tuned for our review.

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