The R-rated Bioshock film was all set to go at Universal with Gore Verbinski at the helm. Then the similarly adult big-budget think piece Watchmen came out and didn’t dominate the box office they way they had hoped. That left Irrational head Ken Levine with a choice to make.
“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 – and Gore didn’t want to make a $80 million film,” Levine said at a BAFTA talk yesterday as reported by Eurogamer.
“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.”
And that’s that. While the guy they brought in to replace Verbinski, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, is certainly no slouch — his 28 Weeks Later is wonderful — I can see the budget being an issue. Levine thought the vision and the scope would be compromised by those limitations, and so he shut it down. If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it. Not a bad philosophy.