It looks like the long-gestating, long-in-development hell live-action film adaptation of BioShock is finally taking shape. Deadline reports that filmmaker Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, The Hunger Games) has signed on to direct the planned film adaptation, which is currently set up at Netflix.
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A BioShock film adaptation has been kicked around Hollywood almost as long as the 2K Games franchise itself. At one point, Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was attached to make the film. However, it never got off the ground. This was way back in 2009. However, now it looks like the project finally has some momentum, and it’s picking up steam at Netflix. Lawrence would reportedly direct the new film from a script adaptation written by Michael Green (Bladerunner 2049, Logan).
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Netflix previously announced a partnership with 2K Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive earlier in February to produce a BioShock movie. The game publisher and studio have been setting their sights high for a filmmaker who could guide the project, which has a massive scope. As a result, Netflix was looking for A-list writers and directors to oversee the project.
Netflix has reportedly been high on Lawrence for the film adaptation as early as the spring. Not to mention, Lawrence as a filmmaker has experience in adapting popular established IP into global box office hits, such as I Am Legend, DC’s Constantine, and The Hunger Games. Lawrence directed three films in The Hunger Games franchise following director Gary Ross’ exit after the first film.
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Additionally, Lawrence is currently in the process of directing a prequel for The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is currently due out in 2023. Deadline noted that Netflix’s current plan is to have Green finish scripting the film, and Lawrence could begin filming BioShock once he completes his duties on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The BioShock game series blends sci-fi, horror with grand, unique settings, such as the underwater city of Rapture, and the floating air city of Columbia. The games feature all manner of unique creatures and themes of utopias going gloriously wrong. Since the series debuted with the original BioShock video game in 2007, it’s sold more than 39 million copies worldwide.
With the game’s unique settings, visuals, and characters, it’s no wonder that Hollywood coveted this property for a film adaptation. The question remains, can it work in the cinematic format? As a Netflix release, the film would not have to worry as much about theatrical box-office numbers, since Netflix’s primary focus is streaming content.
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Michael Green also appears to be a good fit for the material, considering his past work on the Bladerunner sequel and Logan. Green is familiar with mixing genres. He’s also proven he can work well with stories that involve bleak, oppressive settings, along with themes of dystopia.
Roy Lee is producing BioShock for his Vertigo Entertainment banner. Cameron MacConomy and Strauss Zelnick are executive producing the project for about:blank and Take-Two Interactive, respectively.
Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives in theaters from Lionsgate on Nov. 17, 2023. His next film, Slumberland, will arrive on Netflix on Nov. 18. The film, based on Little Nemo in Slumberland, stars Jason Momoa.
But what do you think of the news? Do you think Francis Lawrence is a good fit for BioShock? Do you think the movie will finally get off the ground, and if it does, will it even be any good? Let us know what you think about the project on our official Twitter account.
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