Netflix is adapting the acclaimed video game franchise BioShock into a movie franchise, and fans’ expectations are high. The streamer announced the big project on Tuesday along with game developer Take-Two Interactive, revealing that they have been trying to close this deal for about a year. Still, it will be quite some time before we can see the results for ourselves.
BioShock is a first-person shooter role-playing game set in the sci-fi dystopia of Rapture – an underwater city built in a fictitious version of the mid-20th Century. The first game was released in 2007 by Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games, and was originally available on the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows only. It was ported to the PlayStation 3 a year later. Since then fans have gotten BioShock: Challenge Rooms, BioShock 2, BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den, BioShock: Industrial Revolution, BioShock: Infinite, BioShock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea and BioShock: The Collection. The last title was released in 2016.
The games have a retrofuturistic setting with an art-deco aesthetic, and their dystopian story draws from the writings of Ayn Rand and George Orwell. The player-character finds himself in Rapture after a plane crash and gradually learns the backstory of the city and the civil war that brought it down. Subsequent games jump ahead in time and explore more political and science fiction implications of this world, with plenty of material to adapt to the screen.
So far, Netflix and Take-Two have only announced that this project is in the works and nothing more. There are no writers or filmmakers attached to the movies by name, but they will be Netflix original films produced by Take-Two and Vertigo Entertainment. Fans have wanted this adaptation for a long time, so naturally, they have some thoughts about casting.
The biggest name in tweets about this project is director Gore Verbinski, who was previously hired to adapt BioShock for Universal Studios. At the time, Verbinski reportedly butted heads with studio executives over creative choices including the movie’s rating, which he felt should be R. He also struggled to secure the budget he felt he needed to do justice to Rapture.
Video game adaptations have been a tough sell in the past, but in recent years some have been successful – particularly at Netflix. The streamer currently has big plans for The Witcher franchise, and fans are hoping that BioShock will get the same treatment.