Bioshock joins Halo as Hollywood adapts the cheap
It isn't really a surprise to hear that the project to create a film from the videogame Bioshock has been put on hold. Just the other day another director left the project, not because they couldn't hack it or weren't any good, but because the studios wouldn't commit to the budget required or the rating. Something that sounds rather familiar from the similarly rich videogame adaptation Halo.
Meanwhile Hollywood are adapting boardgames such as Battleship and action figures or comics like G.I. Joe into films, creating stories out of nothing that bear little resemblance to the originals, making them PG-13 friendly, pouring insane budgets into them, and making them a melting pot of mediocrity to draw in the audiences on a film sparse weekend.
It seems that Hollywood is as scared as any other business just now to take risks, unless they can change the material into that all important PG-13, CG heavy, ticket inflated 3D, action film.
Is it any surprise then that Halo and now BioShock have failed to adapt to film? Neither fit that model and although both carry a huge fan-base there's no way that a studio could change them to PG-13 and manage to keep that fan-base still interested, and without that PG-13 rating the film won't reach the target audience that Hollywood is so interested in hitting for the first three days of release before moving onto the next project.
Add to that the fact that they can't take the original story and totally rework it into something else, making sure it hits the key points that their executives and marketing teams believe extracts the most money from the cinema goers over that three day weekend.
You see Bioshock and Halo, just for those who really don't get it, aren't like Battleships or the Ouija board, they're not an item that has little depth or story to it, and the rules for the games come nowhere close to the "rules" to recreate the already richly developed worlds in both Bioshock and Halo.
To adapt these films a studio has to recreate them according to someone else's vision, and they are worlds very unlike our own hence it's going to cost a lot of money to recreate.
So the properties don't fit the Hollywood model for budget, rating or adaptation. It's a wonder that they were ever picked up in the first place.
Now, after we heard that Gore Verbinski had left the project due to difficulties trying to match the studio's desire for rating and budget and Verbinski not wanting to compromise the original, we hear through The Playlist that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the next director that was announced on the project, has said the same thing and has moved on.
"Right now it's on hold. The studio and the videogame company, they have to reach some kind of agreement about the budget and the rating."
However a bit later he says it's scheduling that was the problem.
"...it was an agenda thing. It didn't match my agenda or [scheduling] so I decided to jump out."
I think that he was saying he couldn't wait around for decisions to be made on the project between the film studio and the game studio and so he went off onto projects that were about to get made.
The question remains though, will these ever actually get made? Considering we're seeing companies invest in films like John Carter, which doesn't carry the readymade fan-base that Halo or Bioshock does; G.I. Joe, or Battleship, you have to wonder why Hollywood can't invest in these highly developed and eagerly awaited adaptations, they have for Lord of the Rings. Is it really just the concentration on the opening weekend returns and the rating?