Plans to bring Rapture to the big screen might have hit a snag when Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski jumped ship, but there may still be hope. In an interview with Industry Gamers, Irrational Games Creative Director Ken Levine says that a BioShock movie is "definitely something that’s still in the conversation."
Levine went on:
I think we’re in the space now of building properties that are appealing to people, and there’s a version of BioShock that makes a great game and there’s probably a version of BioShock that makes a great movie. I think for us as a company, we don’t have any need to get a movie made. We’d like to have a movie made, but it would have to be the right one, and we’ve had the opportunity to get it made and unless all the right pieces are in place – it’s hard enough to get a movie made when all the right pieces are in place. If you don’t start with the right pieces, you don’t have a prayer. We’ve had a lot of great talks with great people about it. We got close to great people, but you always have to have all of those pieces in place and that’s going to be very challenging.
And why did Verbinski drop out of the BioShock movie project? In a recent interview with ComingSoon.net, the director says it's because he couldn't get Hollywood to go for an R rating:
Alternately, I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, "Jesus Christ!" ... It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the pricetag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that pricetag.
28 Weeks Later's Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has picked up the reins on the movie project. As far as Ken Levine is concerned, though, his sole focus is on making BioShock Infinite.