Ken Levine 'killed' BioShock film following budget/director issues

Game director was unwilling to compromise during turbulent movie development

Ken Levine has told Edge that he himself called for the BioShock movie to be cancelled after turbulence surrounding its budget and director.


"There was a deal in place and it was actually in production at Universal, and Gore Verbinski was directing it," Levine told the site. "And what happened was - this is my theory - it's a very big movie and Gore was very excited about it and he wanted to make a very dark, what he would call a 'hard-rated' horror film - an R rated film with a lot of blood. Then The Watchmen came out - and I really liked The Watchmen - but it didn't do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film."

Levine continued, "So they said, 'Gore, what about it if it was an $80 million film?' and enough time had gone by where Gore didn't want to make an $80 million dollar film. And so they brought another director in and I didn't really see the match there."

That, says Levine, is when he decided to ditch the project. "Take-Two is one of those companies that gives a lot of trust to their creative people and so they said to me, 'if you want to kill it Ken, kill it'. And I killed it," he said.

Levine said that, ultimately, the decision was made not to compromise. "It was saying, 'You know what? I don't need to compromise'. I had the [Bioshock] world, and I didn't what to see it done in a way I didn't think was right," he said.

The Hollywood movie adaptation of BioShock was last year confirmed to be "on hold" after a troubled production run stretching back years. Original director Gore Verbinski, best known for Pirates of the Caribbean, stepped down from his role on the BioShock movie in 2009 due to "financial and scheduling problems".

The movie's last known director was Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, best known for 28 Weeks Later, who moved off the project in early 2012.