Verbinski is done with Pirates franchise

by Paul William Tenny

bioshock.jpgGore Verbinksi passing up Pirates 4 in favor of adapting BioShock into a movie appears to be the biggest story of the day. It's not a surprise by any means, rumors that this was going to happen have been circulating for nearly a year now.

As I wrote back in May of last year, based on reporting from Variety when the project didn't have a writer attached, BioShock was a fairly high profile console game that was getting a lot of attention, and Verbinksi was undoubtedly suffering from topic burnout after having done the first three films of the Pirates franchise, the production of the last two coming very close together.
BioShock didn't have the "blockbuster" sized success or cult popularity of a Grand Theft Auto, or even Halo -- a video game that has been stuck in development hell for a few years now even with Lord of The Rings helmer Peter Jackson trying to jump start the thing. At one time, Half-Life seemed destined to become the first truly successful adaptation given its strong story. The last time I talked to an acquaintance of mine that works at Valve Software, things had progress enough that Valve wasn't interested in hearing pitches for independent script development, but here we are a couple of years later, and nothing has even been mentioned in the trades.

That's my real concern here, video game movies are having a terrible time finding talent to produce them, or, if you want to look at it from the other side, Hollywood talent is having an awfully hard time finding good source material to work with.

I can't really say which might be the case with BioShock, having not played the game, but I'm not sure it's a movie that I'd make in his place.

The next Pirates sequel is going to be huge no matter how bad the talent tries to screw it up and in an economic climate like this, it's questionable if they should even make the movie at all. Things may not get better for several years yet and if there's an opportunity to make something big that's also as close to a sure thing as there is, how can you pass that up for what's likely to be an underdog at best?

BioShock developer Take-Two Interactive is scheduled to release a video game sequel sometime this year, and one year later to the original rumor, there still doesn't appear to be complete script for the adaptation. Such a movie would be at least two years away from theaters, if not longer.
in Film, Games


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