It’s not at all uncommon for films to never make it past the development stage in Hollywood. One such uncompleted project is Universal Pictures’ big-budget theatrical adaptation of the hit sci-fi/horror video game series BioShock.
Taking place in the steampunk-esque underwater city known as Rapture, BioShock burst onto the gaming scene in 2007, and quickly spawned a franchise that still persists to this day. It didn’t take long for the movie industry to come calling, with Universal hiring no less than Pirates of the Caribbean and The Ring director Gore Verbinski to helm the massive undertaking back in 2008.
Unfortunately, Verbinski’s idea was to make the film for $200 million, but retain the game’s violent content via an R-rating. That kind of enormous budget is exceedingly rare for an R-rated film, and Universal balked. Longtime iHorror readers may recognize this scenario as being very similar to what caused the demise of Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, another Universal project.
When the studio then requested that Verbinski reduce BioShock’s budget to a mere $80 million, Verbinski left as director, and 28 Weeks Later’s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was hired. in 2010, game franchise creator Ken Levine pulled the plug on the troubled film, due to not feeling that Fresnadillo was the right choice to direct.
Which brings us to some recently surfaced concept art for Universal’s BioShock film, created by conceptual illustrator Kasra Farahani. His other credits include blockbusters like Thor, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The first few of these images have been peppered throughout the article so far, and the rest can be seen below. If nothing else, it’s clear that Verbinski’s film would have perfectly captured the visual style of the games. Here’s hoping a BioShock movie actually makes it to the production stage at some point.