Ken Levine personally killed the BioShock film adaptation idea

Ken Levine

By on March 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm

A long time ago, the idea of a BioShock movie was touted, discussed by several interested parties, developed, looked at, considered, and then lost to presumably development hell.

Now it seems that the father of Bioshock, Ken Levine, may have quietly taken a machete to the whole idea behind the scenes.

“There was a deal in place, and it was in production at Universal — Gore Verbinski was directing it,” said Levine in an interview at the recent BAFTAs. “My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard ‘R’ film—which is like an age 17/18-plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don’t think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood.”

“Then Watchmen came out, and it didn’t do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film—and Gore didn’t want to make a $80 million film.”

“They brought another director in,” he continued, “and I didn’t really see the match there. 2K’s one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people, so they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it.”

Given how many truly, truly awful game-to-movie adaptations exist (mostly courtesy of Uwe Boll), perhaps it was all for the best.

Source: Eurogamer

18 comments (Leave your own)

Really, considering most game to movie conversions, you can’t blame Ken for kindly putting this idea to rest.

I would have looked forward to seeing what angle they were going to spin, but I can’t imagine they can capture the oppressiveness of moving around Rapture by yourself surrounded by deranged people wanting to kill you and everything in an advanced state of decay.

Being force fed the story and and taking away the discovery will blunt the very thing that made the game so wonderful.

I’m guessing what could have eventuated would have looked far too much like Grave Encounters which was a wholly underwhelming movie experience.


Watchmen style Bioshock movie would of been great with a good story and budget. Since that was not going to be an option I reckon the decision to axe the idea is best.


As much as I would have loved a Bioshock film, I agree with the history of video game to movie conversions best leave Bioshock as a good game


Watchmen didn’t do well because it’s was a terribly dull terribly long terrible movie :P


Watchmen was actually one of my favourite movies, they ‘did it right’ and actually understood the concept that a book-movie adaptation should, well, you know, actually somewhat resemble and follow said book.

Was pretty much 1:1 (except the ending), thus I thought it was amazing.

I guess alot of the mainstreamer’s weren’t familar with the graphic novel and/or was expecting another ‘Batman’ superhero flick.


I really enjoyed Watchmen too, one of my all-time favourites. If you go in not expecting your usual “Marvel Presents” style blockbuster with explosions and pithy one-liners, you will be quite pleasantly surprised. One of the better super hero films IMO.


watchmen was good, I only had issue with the fact that some of its characters were a bit shallow. (specifically Specter, Night Owl and Dr Manhattan) Its strange because they had a lot of back story sure.. but back story doesn’t magically make the characters likable, frankly they were rather useless to the story.

The stars are really Rorschach, The Comedian and Ozymandias as they not only had the most likable characteristics but actually DID interesting stuff- Really if they wanted to make people enjoy the film.. More Rorschach beating the living shit out of pedos and convicts, or Commedian shooting grenades into a group of protesters. That’s the shit that made that film awesome but there wasn’t enough of it IMO (same goes for the comic book). In the comic book I REALLY hated Night Owl, he was a dick of a character.


You know people can not like things for completely legitimate reasons without having a negative experience from expecting something different.

I read the comic first and my expectations were properly set for what it was but while I could understand why some people would like it I didn’t like the sheer amount of fluff and filler involved, particularly that pirate story. Yeah I know it was suppose to mirror the Watchmen storyline and there were other links there but that didn’t stop it from feeling any less pointless or boring.

I actually walked into the movie expecting something better than the comic since the filler was to be removed but I don’t feel like the story was told as well as the comic.

Overall sure it had some pretty deep things to say about society etc but I found most of it boring, not the subject matter mind you, but the way in which it was told. As was said above Rorschach and The Comedian were pretty much the only interesting characters in the story, everyone else I found was forgettable at best.


Ok then, I’m not sure I remember people saying you’re not aloud to dislike things. Everybody has their own taste, etc.


No one said that people can’t dislike things but they were implying that people only disliked them because they went in expecting batman or x-men.


Ah I see that now. I actually said that too. Mind you, you didn’t entirely say why you disliked it, (you just agreed with somebody else saying it was dull) so I wasn’t entirely targeting it at you anyhow. Just in the vague direction.


Don’t worry, I was speaking for others as much as for myself.


Back on topic, I am glad that he shut it down.

Just because things work well in a game doesn’t mean they will work or should be attempted to in a movie.


I personally don’t understand the big drive to get popular games to have film adaptations. To me that screams of an inferiority complex of the games industry, that your great games mean nothing unless hollywood gets their hands on them.


Watchmen was great. There aren’t enough R18 movies out there. We’re left with dumbed down pussy version crap movies instead which cater for the kiddy market


R18 doesn’t necessarily mean a great film. Yeah it means it’s a lot more gritty and so forth, but there have been many bad R18 films.

So I’m not sure why it was such a bad thing for the Bioshock movie to be less than R-rated. If you have a great plot, interesting characters, a great lineup of talent working on it, motivation, great set design, brilliant special effects, etc, things like ratings shouldn’t matter.

That said, most game to movie crossovers haven’t worked well regardless of rating, so that alone is good enough reason to pull the plug.


Want to hate me even more than just my blue text?

Watch this splicing (intended) of movie footage to make one HELL of a Bioshock movie trailer you are dying to see…

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