BioShock gives Universal sticker shock

bioshock-shotDespite my protests two weeks ago, it looks like Gore Verbinski was indeed jumping ship on Pirates of the Caribbean 4 in order to direct the BioShock adaptation his Take Two productions has been working on. Operative word: was.

According to Variety, Universal has once again developed cold feet while developing a big-budget video game adaptation — the last time being on its co-production (with Sony) of the Peter Jackson-Neill Blomkamp Halo film that never managed to reach escape velocity to get out of development hell.

Upon seeing the film’s budget balloon to $160 million, Universal asked Verbinski and co. to consider shooting the film outside the U.S. (specifically London), in order to take advantage of a tax credit. Verbinski explains, “We are evaluating whether this is something we want to do. In the meantime, the film is in a holding pattern.”

It’s kind of surprising that Universal doesn’t think a $160 million budget is a safe bet with Verbinski in the director’s chair, when that’s only $10 million more than than each of the Pirates sequels, and $35 million more than the surprise-hit first film in that series. The troubled economy can’t even be used as an excuse, because the movie industry has been bucking the recession rather handily.

Anyway, all parties involved with BioShock “vow” that this project will not turn into a repeat of that disappointment, but after letting go some staff for the project, it’s safe to say that BioShock won’t be heading into production for several more months, at least. Whether or not this means one of his umptymillion other projects will slide into the first place on his docket remains to be seen.

P.S. Yes, I only wrote about this because I thought my headline was entirely too clever. I am all kinds of proud of myself.

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 06:02 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News

One Response

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  1. Written by Chris
    on 2009-04-27 at 06:46
    Permalink

    Unfortunately, video game properties (even ones with worthwhile stories such as Bioshock) have been mishandled by the film industry because the gaming industry is treated as “throw-away entertainment”. The list is long and unfortunate (starting, probably, with Super Mario Bros. and ending, even more unfortunately, with EVERYTHING Ewe Boll has done).

    Maybe it’s because the video game industry is destroying the studio’s revenues. Sour grapes?

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