Big-shot Hollywood film guy Gore Verbinski “gets” the BioShock franchise. Ken Levine told us so last week. So don’t expect pretty blondes with unsmudged make-up impaling themselves on muscle-bound dunderheads in the screen adaptation of the 2K Boston game.
“You’re always going to be worried that in that first meeting they’re going to be, like, ‘OK, it’s Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey on a desert island hunting for pirate treasure,’ but it’s not going to go that way,” said Levine, talking to VG247 at Develop.
“My expectation at this time, from everything that I’ve heard, is that it will very much honour the dramatic and thematic elements of the game… They certainly understand the material and are able to provide a stamp of their own.”
While Levine said there’s only been talking up to this point and he hasn’t actually seen anything of the film itself, it sounds as though Verbinski and script writer John Logan are now actively involved in the project.
“I think they’re a little generous with their time,” Levine said of the pair.
“It’s hard, just in the fact it’s a movie. You have to walk that line between the fact that it’s a property you love, and honouring that property, and realising it’s a game. We’ve sat down a couple of times and had conversations, and we’ve talked with John who’s working on stuff.”
The movie isn’t slated for release until 2010, but Levine told us that Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has been careful about the deal he struck for the venture, despite dogged interest in the rights.
“There was a lot of interest early on, and at some points it became so intense that I thought it may at least get optioned,” he said when asked if he knew BioShock would be made into a film from the start.
“The movie industry’s strange. A lot of things get optioned. In the movie industry you can option very cheaply, and so it really came down to what Take-Two did. Strauss [Zelnick, Take-Two’s chairman – Ed] was very particular about making sure it got made. There’s no point in tying up the rights and having all the complications unless it got made in the right way.
“They did a really good deal, not in terms of the financials, but in terms of the people he chose to work with, and how it’s going to impact on the franchise… there are a lot of smart people involved.”