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How Watchmen helped kill the BioShock movie

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What ever happened to that BioShock movie we were promised almost six years ago? Turns out Watchmen killed it.

Way back in 2008, news of a BioShock movie broke. But this wasn't just another shoot-em-up Resident Evil video game adaptation but a serious, R-rated vision of tantalizing, underwater world that made BioShock so incredibly popular. Universal backed the project and Gore Verbinski was attached to direct. But then Watchmen tanked.


In an interview with Eurogamer, BioShock chief creator and game developer Ken Levine explained how terminating the BioShock movie after Watchmen failed seemed like a mercy killing:

There was a deal in place, and it was in production as Universal…My theory is that Gore [Verbinski] wanted to make a hard R film – which is like a 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, then they said what if it was an $80 million film – and Gore didn’t want to make an $80 million film ...

They brought another director in, and I didn’t really see the match there – and 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.


This is a tough one; we'd rather have a good BioShock movie than a bad one, and after seeing what Verbinski's been putting out lately he's definitely got the BioShock touch. Who knows? Perhaps Levine won't have to compromise again and we'll finally get to see Big Daddies on the big screen, but we're not holding our breath.

Top image via Dim Horizon Studio.