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Bioshock to be Adapted

Bioshock I suppose if he can turn a 6-minute animatronic boat ride into 8 hours of entertaining film, he can be the one to break the curse of the video game adaptations, too. Gore Verbinski, most famous for his sprawling, epic trilogy ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean,’ has signed on to adapt XBox 360 game Bioshock. While I am of the opinion that video game adaptations can’t be successfully pulled off due to the nature of the very thin narrative games inherently have, Verbinski noted the following regarding the game:

“I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that’s cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential,” said Verbinski. “Of all the games I’ve played, this is one that I felt has a really strong narrative.”

Bioshock follows the story of an underwater city living by the Ayn Rand philosophy. When a pilot accidentally lands in the city, he learns that things are not quite as they seem. John Logan, writer of ‘Aviator’ is in talks to pen the script.

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18 thoughts on “Bioshock to be Adapted

  1. Justin, I gotta show you this game, this is one of those games with an intense story, ridiculous production design, etc etc. This one is ripe for adaptation, because its pretty much already a movie.

    The production design is steam punk, and art deco. It’s nuts. This movie will change your mind.

  2. I’ll admit, Gore directing does give me a slight, slight glimmer of hope. But my opinion remains unchanged until I see it.

  3. I’m both stoked and terrified about this one–having played through the game (which was pretty damn cool BTW), one of the first things that i thought after it was over was “this could make a really cool movie if they handle it right”.
    That’s a loaded statement however, because video game adaptations are rarely handled even decently, never mind right.
    To do this one right, they are going to have to keep the tense atmosphere, and creepy 30’s era music/setting (to ‘modernize’ this would be a CRIME) first and foremost. Additionally it wouldn’t hurt to keep many of the plot elements intact as well–like the evil walt disney: andrew ryan, that psycho theatre reject (if they keep that scene intact where he first introduces himself in the pod room with the cirque-du-solei wannabe’s glowing white and doing rope acts while he taunts you, i’ll be an extra happy camper), the little sisters (not changing their function in the city, or the relationship between them and the main character would help as well), and big daddies(they were a cool idea–don’t tard them up).

    oh and don’t wuss out on the rating either — it’s a “M” rated game so it should be a “R” rated movie. Period. Don’t pull a terminator.

    Damnit, i hope someone involved in the production reads this, because they need to not screw this one up…….

  4. You should submit your resume to the Doom game and then put a note asking them to pass it along to this crew.

    I’m still not convinced. God of War is a kick ass game with a pretty decent story and effects, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think it’d make a good movie, though. These games aren’t fleshed out ideas, they’re a series of plot points strung together by game play, (I say this having never seen Bioshock, of course) so everyone who plays the game has their vision of the movie in mind because video games make you fill in the gaps. It’s how they’re designed. So I still hold to the idea that it’s impossible to make a good adaptation.

  5. i probably have a better shot at getting their attention by just doing what everybody else in hollywood does to make a public rant–take out a full page ad in vanity faire.

    Totally disagree with you there–in the end it comes down to two simple things:
    1)source material—some games are eminently more adaptable than others due to the way the plot is organized and executed. something like doom, hardly has a plot to begin with, so when you get right down to it “shit goes in, shit comes out”. something like bioshock, in addition to the setting, has a solid plotline laid out throughout the game, which could easily be trimed down to elements/scenes that would be managable for a movie timeframe.

    2)who handles it-the director and writers have to both basically realize how to best cast and trim the fat yet keep specific enough to the games source material in order to make the movie right. this movie would not be any good if for example Mr. Boll was directing it and decided to cast Carrot top as the lead.

    hell, movies are based off of novels all the time-this effectively is no different. The lord of the rings–fantastic books, fantastic/pretty close to the source adaptation. the right people handled the right material, so it succeded.
    on the flipside however you can have something like timeline–i enjoyed the original crighton book, but when it came to a movie version–it sucked, they strayed from the books plot too much and cast paul walker as the lead. it was the right material, but the wrong people in charge, so it failed.

    just because it hasn’t been done yet in the medium of video games, doesn’t mean that there arn’t properties out there — like bioshock–that have the material built in and are well suited to make it happen. they just have to satisfy those 2 conditions first……

  6. I fully support your Vanity Fair rant. I think it would help if you had Annie Liebovitz do a few pictures of you for it.

    Books and video games are two totally different things! Books are fully fleshed out ideas. Books don’t require you making decisions and moving around in them (unless you count Choose Your Own Adventures [boy do I miss those]). Lord of the Rings was a tome that had everything built in. Video games really can’t have everything built in because they’d just be a movies, then.

    Look at Silent Hill. Theoretically had the good source material and the competent director and writer. Christophe Gans made Brotherhood of the Wolves which was a good movie and Roger Avery wrote some good stuff (his Tarantino years are all decent). The movie still blew balls.

    Check and mate!

  7. well thank you for proving my point for me–that there are varying degrees of “fully fleshed out ideas” in books as well as video games. while “street fighter” has minimal, if any plot to it, you obviously have never sat down and hashed your way through an average final fantasy game (while i’m not endorsing them for any more movie action, they tend to have very long and indepth plotlines to them-most of which are really quite linear when you get right down to it, not “choose your adventure” where you can end up at different place altogether)-or any number of other rpg’s. same with books, sure there’s lord of the rings type of abundant material, but there’s also books that don’t even come close to the qunatity and level of “fleshed out” material as others. do you want to see a movie version of “everybody poops”? no, i didn’t think so (shit, i think i inadvertantly just pitched rob schnider his next movie idea).

    and silent hill–well for starters, i have no idea what the source material was originally about, wether it was remotely good or not, and add that to the fact that i seriously doubt they stuck to any plotlines that may have made the source material attractive in the first place. at this point you’ve already you’ve commited a major fopa in adapting the material.
    plus as far as christophe gans and roger avery go–the former hardly has a good sample size in his directing credentials for me to decide if he’s a good director or not (that movie made him 1 for 2 , out of the movies i’ve seen directed by him), and the latter has officially moved into “David Goyer” turf as far as i’m concerned—aka wildly ueaven work (goyer may be responsible for blade, blade 2, and the recent batman stuff, but he’s also responsible for blade 3, the invisible and making david hasselhoff into Nick fury).

    oh and YATZEE!!

  8. I’ll get back to this, but I need to stop laughing at the idea of a film adaptation of “Everyone Poops” first.

  9. I’m siding with Jay on this one, Source Material is everything.

    Doom should be forever taken out of any Video Game movie debate, the only way you knew the story of the first game is by reading the box cover. Sure there was some Doom novels, and some mythology & history, but, honestly, Doom was never about story.

    I see Justin’s point about gaming being an interactive medium, but, it’s not as “choose your own adventure” as you think. A game like that is heavily scripted, and ripe for the plucking.

    Which then brings us to the person doing the adaptation, this is true about Silent Hill, but, you can say that about any franchise in anyones hands. Look at the Alien Franchise, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s (Amelie) and David Fincher’s (Alien 3) vision of the films weren’t as good as Ridley Scott’s and James Cameron’s, and they are both directors with excellent track records.

    Just, stop giving Uwe Boll these properties, directors like that hurt the image of video game movies.

  10. heh, right on Vatche–i think if we can all take anything away from this, it’s that The only projects that Uwe Boll should get his hands on from now on are the movie adaptations of Pac Man, Qbert, and Solitaire.

  11. Yeah, as an aside, David Goyer: what’s up with that guy? The Invisible was a dumbass movie. I consider Batman Begins and Blade to be lucky shots.

    I think saying that the source material and the crew need to be good is too general a statement. I mean, that’s the formula for any good movie, right? And yet I have not seen a good adaptation of a video game. Many hands have tried, all have seemed to fail. I’ll gladly pull Uwe Boll out of the equation and I’ll gladly pull Doom out (if for no other reason than a coping mechanism for having actually sat through that movie). The chaff has officially been separated, but there’s still no wheat. Maybe everything is just pulling in incompetent directors or maybe they haven’t thought about adapting the right story yet, but come on, you’re telling me that the common denominator in all of these cinematic train wrecks doesn’t tell you something?!

  12. I think a Frogger movie would be a great chance at redemption for adaptations. “Frogger: City Street Nights.” It’s the story about a hard drinking, hard living frog who has to make it across the street.

  13. off topic, but what was with the log filled river next to a busy city street in frogger, any insight on that?

  14. It was a big lumber town. I thought that was pretty evident. Clearly Frogger was a metaphor for the effects of the Industrial Revolution.

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