Netflix has announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive to produce a BioShock movie. No writer or director is attached to the project, but it's the latest in several attempts to turn the 2007 first-person shooter into a big budget movie.
The news was shared by Netflix via Twitter. The Hollywood Reporter had the extra detail that the partnership deal has been in the works for almost a year. They also refer to it as a "potential cinematic universe."
This isn't the first attempt to turn BioShock into a movie. Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was attached to a project the year after the game was released. It ultimately fell through due to the movie's huge budget and its R-rating, which may have limited its box office potential. Universal were also reportedly spooked by the R-rated and expensive Watchmen movie, which underperformed.
A smaller budget iteration was then due to move forward with 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, but the project was ultimately cancelled by Take-Two. Ken Levine said that he personally made the decision to kill it, saying he "didn't really see the match there" with the new director's vision.
Netflix may have the advantage over any of these previous attempts since they don't necessarily need to worry about box office takings.
On the other hand, for all its strengths, BioShock still seems a difficult game to adapt to film. The way its story is told is interesting because you're playing it, and its most interesting element is the setting of Rapture, which there will be little time to explore in a traditional two-hour action movie. I'd be more interested if this were a TV series rather than a one-off.