As video game adaptation become more and more of the hottest IP in Hollywood, studios are in an arms race to sign-up deals, and Netflix is seemingly grabbing as much as possible.
It was revealed last year that the streaming service signed a deal with Ubisoft to create TV shows and movies of their titles with a live-action Assassin’s Creed series currently in production.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has secured another deal and given video game franchise BioShock another shot at a film adaptation.
The streamer has joined forces with Take-Two Interactive, the game’s parent company, in the hope of developing a potential cinematic universe with Take-Two alongside Vertigo Entertainment serving as producers.
It should be stated that no writer or filmmaker is signed on at this present moment, but this partnership deal has been a year in the making.
I’ve only ever seen snippets from gameplay trailers as I don’t play horror games but reading up about the plot, the first-person shooter seems ideal for a live-action adaptation.
We follow Jack, the game’s protagonist, a survivor of a mysterious place crushed in the Atlantic Ocean. As the game is set in a crumbling underwater city named Rapture, its society fragmented in a civil war with many inhabitants addicted or using a genetically enhancing serum that gives people powers while also living in fear of Big Daddies, mutated humans who have merged with diving suits.
When the game was released in 2007, it became a massive success selling millions, followed by sequels BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite. The series continuously finds itself on best video games ever lists.
Since 2007, a movie adaptation was also talked about and then under those “films never made” lists as Universal owned the rights and had The Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski attached to helm.
However, the studio and the filmmaker, Verbinski or his replacement Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, repeatedly bummed heads for the next two decades around two significate issues: the budget and R rating.
Understandably from the studio’s point of view, at the time R rated films weren’t making the money they are now with the likes of Deadpool, Joker and IT. Additionally, even in 2022, decent video game adaptations are few and far between and back then, they weren’t even being touched. So I can see Universal not wanting to spend hundreds of millions of dollars.
It can be argued Netflix has done the best with adapting video game properties due to the success of the Henry Cavill fantasy series, The Witcher. It’s become one of the platform’s top titles and has an animated prequel movie and is currently a spinoff and another anime movie in the works.