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Why the Bioshock movie never happened

With Bioshock Infinite arriving in just a few weeks, creator Ken Levine has been hitting the interview trail. It was during a talk at BAFTA that he explained that the long gestating Bioshock movie has definitely been killed off, and that it was his decision to drop the axe.

The choice came in the aftermath of the Watchmen movie, Warner Bros' expensive adults-only graphic novel adaptation that flopped at the box office. That made Universal wary of spending a similar amount on what was then planned to be a similarly bloody video game movie, with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski at the helm.

"The studio then got cold feet about making an R-rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film. Gore didn't want to make a $80 million film," Levine explained.

Exit Gore Verbinksi, and enter Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, director of 28 Weeks Later. Levine, however, wasn't happy. "They brought another director in, and I didn't really see the match there - and 2K's one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it."

"It was saying I don't need to compromise - how many times in life do you not need to compromise?" Levine, a former screenwriter himself, continued. "It comes along so rarely, but I had the world, the world existed and I didn't want to see it done in a way that I didn't think was right."

Instead, Levine poured his focus into Bioshock Infinite, a sequel only loosely connected to the 2008 smash hit. Set in a floating sky city, rather than one under the sea, it tackles themes of civil unrest and religious extremism and promises to be a highlight of 2013.

Bioshock Infinite is out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC from March 26th.

Published: 13/03/2013

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