On February 16th, Take-Two Interactive and Netflix confirmed earlier rumors that a BioShock movie adaptation would be produced by Vertigo Entertainment. In late August, Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend, Hunger Games Sparrow, Slumberland, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Constantine 2) was officially picked as the film's director.
Speaking to Collider as part of an interview conducted during the Slumberland press tour, Lawrence talked extensively about the BioShock movie. To begin with, he explained what makes the IP unique among videogames, possibly allowing this franchise to transition more smoothly to live action adaptations.
First of all, I think it's one of the best games ever created. It's also, I think, one of the most visually unique games ever created. The other thing, and one of the things that always appeals to me, is it is very thematic. There's real ideas and philosophies underneath the game property, and it's really, really, really thought out. A lot of games may have a great world of some kind, or they may have a great lead character, or they may tee you up for great set pieces, but they don't really have the ideas, they don't have the kind of weight and the gravitas that Bioshock does. The sort of combo of real ideas and philosophies mixed with the unbelievable aesthetic of it. Plus, one of the other things that I love, love, love is that sort of strange mashup of genre, the idea that you have what feels like a period piece mixed with body horror, mixed with sci-fi. It's one of those great mashups, and I think it can be really unique and really beautiful and really entertaining.
[...] When I think about that, I go back to what we talked about earlier, which is I think that there's some great video games out there, but they don't always have the weight of actual ideas underneath them. Sometimes they have a great aesthetic or something like that, but I feel like often they end up feeling empty because they're not built from real ideas. The thing is, BioShock really is. The whole mythology of that world and the ideas behind it all, there's just so much there.
Lawrence also stressed that he wants to stay true to the games. As part of that, he's talking to Take-Two and specifically to franchise creator Ken Levine (who is now otherwise busy).
Last but not least, the director believes he could be working on the BioShock movie next because writer Michael Green (Logan, Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Call of the Wild, Jungle Cruise, and Death on the Nile) is currently in the middle of writing the plot. If that's the case, we could see it on Netflix in the next couple of years or so.
That's also a likely ballpark for when the next BioShock game could be released, by the way. The new installment was announced roughly three years ago, and we're possibly due for an unveiling at some point in 2023. Meanwhile, rumors point to Antarctica as the game's setting.