After years of rumors regarding its development, Netflix has finally announced a film based on the BioShock games. On February 15, the streaming giant shared a press release where they revealed details about the long-awaited live-action project.
The movie will be produced in partnership with Vertigo Entertainment and 2K Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive. As of now, no directors, cast, or writers are publicly attached to the project. Thus, the film's release timeline has not been publicized as of yet.
Rumors about the film adaptation of the renowned game trended again in early 2022 as Netflix registered copyrights for the IP. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the streaming platform may also develop a franchise based on the game.
In a recent public statement, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said:
"...with our partnership with Netflix, we remain highly confident that BioShock will continue to captivate and engage audiences like never before."
Development hell of BioShock's film adaptation
Rumors about a potential live-action adaptation of the film began a few years after the game's launch. At the time, it was reported that Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director Gore Verbinski embarked on adapting the game into a movie. According to his exclusive interview with Collider, the filmmaker was reportedly in talks with Universal when they backed out of the project.
The director claimed to have asked for a $200 million budget from Universal. This high budget requirement for Verbinski's R-Rated vision of the project was reportedly too expensive for the studio.
Later, around 2018, Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro was speculated to helm the film's development. However, no official confirmation wasmade regarding this.
BioShock's history and brief plot of the game
The original first-person shooter (FPS) game was released in 2007, with two more games in the series being released in 2010 and 2013, respectively. BioShock 1, 2, and Infinite reportedly sold over 34 million copies within a decade of its release.
In the first game, the main story was established to be set in 1960, when a sole plane-crash survivor named Jack ends up in a hidden dystopian underwater city called Rapture. The city was left destroyed by a Civil War which took place a year back.
Most remaining members of the human population of Rapture got addicted to a chemical substance called ADAM, which mutated them into splicers. The chemical is found in a synthesized serum known as Plasmid. It caused gene alteration on extreme consumption of the serum.
The splicers were the primary antagonists of the game series and were extremely hostile towards Jack and the surviving human citizens of Rapture. The game series also had a subplot of Little Sisters and Big Daddies.
While Netflix has not revealed what storyline from the game series would be adapted, the streamer has acquired the rights for the 2011 book by John Shirley, BioShock: Rapture. Thus, the live-action movie could potentially be an origin story for the Rapture Civil War.