A new Deadlin (opens in new tab)e report says Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence (opens in new tab) has been signed to direct the upcoming BioShock film, while the script will be adapted by Michael Green (opens in new tab), whose previous credits include Logan, Alien: Covenant, and American Gods.
Getting BioShock to the big screen has been a struggle. The first game in the series was released in 2007—that’s 15 years ago—and while a film project helmed by Gore Verbinski was announced the following year, the project stalled and ultimately fell apart. In 2013, BioShock creative director Ken Levine blamed the failure on Watchmen, an R-rated superhero flick that didn’t do very well at the box office. Universal wanted to cut BioShock’s budget but Verbinski did not, so he split. Levine said he “didn’t really see the match” with the director Universal brought in to replace Verbinski, so he canned the whole thing (opens in new tab).
That was the end of things until February, when Netflix announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive (opens in new tab) “to produce a film adaptation of the renowned video game franchise.” There was no indication as to Levine’s role on the new project, if any, and he doesn’t appear to have publicly commented on it. The most recent BioShock game, BioShock Infinite, came out in 2013; these days Levine is working on something entirely new at Ghost Story.
With or without him, Netflix’s BioShock film seems to be moving ahead with a level of purpose and urgency that the original project never had. Signing a director and screenwriter is a long way from putting images on a screen, but Netflix has a pretty solid history of getting things done, and it hasn’t been shy about taking advantage of videogames for new content: The network has also released or is working on new films or series based on The Witcher, Resident Evil, Dota, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Division.