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Bioshock: the Movie

Oh yes – Rapture for real will be quite the sight to behold.

Oh no – It’s to be directed and produced by Gore ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Verbinski. Well, the first film was loads of fun, but even discounting those sequels, high seas hi-jinks seems an unusual pedigree for undersea rumination upon the nature of man. But hey, both have water and zombies.
“It’s believed to be the biggest videogame-to-movie deal since 2005, when Universal and Fox signed onto the since aborted “Halo” pic, for which Microsoft got $5 million against 10%”, reports Variety.

“”I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that’s cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential. Of all the games I’ve played, this is one that I felt has a really strong narrative”
-Gore Verbinski.

Erm. Perhaps he hasn’t played all that many games, then – although such a comment might explain why the last two Pirates films were so porridgy and incoherent. Let’s hope he’s enthusing more about Bioshock’s setting and backstory than its pay-off, eh? “It’s a much more intimate story than “Pirates.” Although it’s an adventure, it’s a dramatic adventure. I see it more along the lines of ‘Blade Runner'”, he adds in an interview here, in which he also talks about his chuminess with Ken Levine. He makes some of the right noises – at least name-checking free will and Ayn Rand – but the pervading sense is very much ‘big summer blockbuster’. And understandably so. Unlike Andrew Ryan, I very much doubt Verbinski is willing to design an immense underwater city solely for the arthouse crowd.

The immediate problem with using the existing narrative is that, unlike the game, the audience isn’t in the shoes of the lead character, so Bioshock’s moments of greatest resonance will be that much tougher to achieve. Potentially the big reveal could be a bit Sixth Sense – which, in fairness, was reasonably affecting on the first viewing.

Surprisingly, this is Take Two’s first ever movie deal – they’ve resisted a GTA flick for yonks now – and so they’re claiming to be heavily involved with it. They’re also getting a multi-million dollar advance, which means there’ll be a great deal of bigwig self-congratulation about buying up Bioshock developers Irrational last year.

No word yet on whether there’ll be one ending for normal people and another for those who believe there’s nothing wrong with killing little girls.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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