Want to check out a trove of unreleased concept art from the never-produced BioShock film adaptation that Gore Verbinski was hired by Universal Pictures to direct in 2008? The images come from Hollywood artist and production designer Kasra Farahani, who was working as a concept artist at the time for production designer Rick Heinrich.
The selection of art focuses in particular on the game’s iconic Little Sister and Big Daddy characters. You can see one example above, and the rest on Farahini’s website.
Problems arose for the film production when Verbinski and BioShock creator Ken Levine insisted that it be rated R to adequately capture the game’s mature themes and bloody violence. Verbinski stepped down as director after the studio insisted on slashing the budget of the film to make up for the possible lost revenue by restricting it to R audiences.
28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was briefly brought on to helm the project, but he also stepped down. Soon thereafter, Levine officially pulled his support. Web domain registrations by Sony earlier in 2014 suggest that hopes for a BioShock movie might not be entirely dead, but no tangible news, site launches, or announcements have followed.
Video game adaptations have had a historically hard time in Hollywood. The critically panned and commercially unsuccessful adaptations of German director Uwe Boll, such as BloodRayne and Alone in the Dark, made big budget, big screen takes on games appear folly to many producers. Like BioShock, a Halo film has circulated in various forms of development for years, at one time with Neil Blomkamp signed on to direct before he left the project and made District 9.
Some gaming industry titans are not deterred, however, with a World of Warcraft film in production for 2016 and Ubisoft developing films based on Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Watch Dogs. Sony, which registered websites related to BioShock, is also developing a movie based on Sonic the Hedgehog and another based on Uncharted.