Fresh from the newly minted success of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, director Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend) will be diving down to Rapture for the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the iconic video game series, BioShock. A film version of the smash-hit video game has been kicked around Hollywood almost since the game was first released over 16 years ago in August 1997. Now, it looks like the film project will finally see the night of day as a Netflix original feature.
Gamers and fans have been waiting for a BioShock movie for quite some time. The film version has been through multiple studios and permutations at this point. During a recent chat with Gizmodo, Lawrence offered some fascinating insight regarding his approach to the upcoming BioShock feature that will likely have fans keenly interested and salivating.
LAWRENCE CHATS ABOUT HIS PLANS FOR NETFLIX’S BIOSHOCK
Lawrence revealed that he’s actually been a fan of the property for a long time, and he was actually first offered the directing role for the film way back in 2009, when the project was set up at Universal Pictures, and Gore Verbinski was also working on it. He also compared it to a haunted house story.
The director also revealed some of his cinematic inspirations for his upcoming motion picture, noting Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining and Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet films, such as The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen. Lawrence stated, “Movie wise, and this may be a weird one for me, is like I look a lot at like The Shining, truthfully, because so much of it is sort of like a haunted house idea to me, and that’s part of what really appeals to me.”
He continued, “I will also say we’ve been looking a lot at like the Jeunet and Caro movies, you know, City of Lost Children, and Delicatessen, and things like that. But you know, we’re in very, very early stages. No official prep yet, but we have a great script.”
Earlier on, Lawrence also cited the exceptional worldbuilding and mythology that original BioShock creator and developer Ken Levine created for the games. Lawrence noted, “The mythology and the sort of backstory that Ken Levine has kind of created for the world is the other thing that draws me into any project. Ken Levine has built this world on themes and ideas, and it just gives a sort of heft and relevance, and it just doesn’t feel like a kind of surface visual trickery.”
BioShock was previously set up at Universal, with Gore Verbinski shepherding the project. However, Lawrence spoke about how Universal balked at the R-rating and a suggested $200 million price tag. Years later, the project came back around, this time to Netflix, who announced the film a little over a year ago, with Lawrence attached to helm the adaptation and Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049) to pen the script.
Obviously, it will still be a while before BioShock goes in front of the cameras, but it looks like the script work is done. It just looks like it needs to start its pre-production prep phase and casting. Not to mention, Lawrence is a highly in-demand directing talent, who is also attached to a Constantine sequel at Warner Bros. Discovery with Keanu Reeves and also I Am Legend 2, with Will Smith returning and Michael B. Jordan coming on board, also at Warner Bros.
Previously, Netflix indicated that BioShock would be Lawrence’s next movie after he completes Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes. However, delays due to the recent WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes might have thrown things out of wack. It should be interesting to see what he comes up with. BioShock will be coming to Netflix later on.
But what do you think of the news? Do you like what Francis Lawrence has to say about his planned BioShock movie? Do you think he’s on the right track? Are you happy to hear he’s a fan of the franchise and the world-building created by Ken Levine? Let us know your thoughts on the news on The Illuminerdi’s social media.