For a brief, glorious moment, "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski was attached to helm the video game-to-movie adaptation of "BioShock." Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Verbinski is still set to produce, but he stepped aside as director after scheduling conflicts arose. I wonder if the spotty history games have on film also played a part?
Regardless, the hunt for a director has been on. More than that, we're actually nearing endgame. Variety reports that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, director of "Intacto" and "28 Weeks Later," is in talks to step in and take the reins. Fresnadillo's confirmation is pending publisher Take-Two Games' approval, as they have the final word. Presumably, Fresnadillo will be working with a budget that falls below the $160 million figure which originally halted the project long enough for Verbinski to jump ship.
For those who haven't played it, "BioShock" follows a man who ends up in the massive undersea city of Rapture after surviving a plane crash in the mid-Atlantic. Rapture is the construct of Andrew Ryan, a utopia-seeking industrialist who created the city to house the world's greatest artists and thinkers. The discovery of a compound on the ocean floor known as ADAM, which alters the body chemistry to allow for the use of super powers, eventually leads to the decimation of the city's populace. Our crash survivor arrives soon after things go to crap, since nobody wants to play a video game set in a utopia.
The story is actually quite absorbing for a video game, with some significant twists and an underlying message or two. It'll be interesting to see exactly what gets turned into a movie here. A straight adaptation of "BioShock" is certainly possible, but the "fall of Rapture" is well-documented in the game and features a wider range of characters to focus on. A script has been around for awhile, from "The Last Samurai" writer John Logan, though it's reasonable to imagine the budget issues that halted the project forcing some rewrites.
I'm not sure what to make of Fresnadillo, having never seen his work before. I've heard that "28 Weeks Later" suffers from a bit of sequel-itis, but Danny Boyle's original, "28 Days Later," was a unique work, and a difficult one to follow up on. What's more, the fans I know are okay with "Weeks," which is more than can be said for other horror sequels. "BioShock" could be the break that Fresnadillo has been waiting for... or it could end up being just another of the long string of failed game-to-movie adaptations.
Are you still excited about the "BioShock" movie? What might Fresnadillo bring to the table? Would you rather see the game adapted, or a spin-off story like the fall of Rapture?