While promoting his new movie Intruders (which Allistair didn’t terribly care for), director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo revealed that he has left the Universal adaptation of the critically-acclaimed video game Bioshock, with this to say on his departure:
To be honest, by now, I’m completely out of that, and developing other stuff… Right now it’s on hold. The studio and the videogame company, they have to reach some kind of agreement about the budget and the rating.
It’s not too hard to read between the lines here, as it’s the exact same issue that’s plagued this project since Gore Verbinski was on board. EA/2K Games likely wants a higher budget and an R-rating, something closer to the disturbing, atmospheric game, while Universal, ever unwilling to take a chance on a high budget film with an R-rating, despite having a massive built-in fanbase, probably wants something cheaper skewing PG-13. I’d imagine this project isn’t going to have much life at Universal, if they’re still unable to come to any sort of compromise in terms of budget and rating. If you know Bioshock, you know that just to keep the art direction as consistently mind-blowing you’d need a high budget, so that alone seems difficult to get around. If this movie’s ever going to happen, it probably needs to go somewhere where there’s either enough capital to put together the necessary budget or studio execs daring enough to take a chance on it. Of course, “studio execs” and “take a chance on it” are pretty much magnetically opposed concepts.