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Gore Verbinski Off ‘Bioshock’ Adaptation?

Some very disheartening news comes in via the LA Times this morning as they’re reporting director Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean) may be off of Bioshock, Universal’s video game adaptation that’s been hitting some rough waters as of late. While the news isn’t horribly grim, the LA Times writes the reason for his departure is that Verbinski is becoming more interested in producing, but still implies that the project might not happen (boo!).
From the LA Times:

Bioshock RaptureWhen most people think “Gore Verbinski and video games,” they think Bioshock, the 2007 hit video game about an underwater dystopia that he signed on to direct as a film for Universal last year.

But Verbinski isn’t just interested in adapting video games into movies. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in advance of this week’s E3 conference, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” director explained that he instead wants to produce them. Since first introducing himself to the game industry at least year’s D.I.C.E. conference, Verbinski has hired a video game designer, Will Stahl from “Star Wars: Battlefront” maker Pandemic Studios, to work at his Blind Wink production company. Blind Wink now has five game projects in development, one of which it is building as a prototype.

Hiring a game designer to work on staff is unusual enough for a film production company. But in another twist, Blind Wink’s first look deal with Universal Pictures, which it signed last year, also includes video games. That means the studio, which recently released its first self-financed game, “Wanted: Weapons of Fate,” could publish or co-publish one of Blind Wink’s games in the future.

Verbinski, who is currently working on the animated film “Rango,” isn’t confident about “Bioshock’s” making it to the big screen. It’s been previously reported that the film is on hold due to concerns about its escalating budget. Verbinski tells the Times that it could probably get made, if it is shot in one of those foreign countries that offer a generous tax credit. And he’s not sure whether he wants to go overseas for the year-plus it would require to make it.

Our conversation with the reluctant “Bioshock” director is part of a larger story in tomorrow’s Times about the new efforts among film industry hotshots — including Verbinski, Jerry Bruckheimer, Thomas Tull and Zack Snyder — and newly-hired executives at some of the big studios, to produce video games. They’re determined to succeed where so many in Hollywood have failed before. You can read the entire story right here.

Or you can click here for a preview of the full interview.



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