Bioshock film rights poached by Universal

Bioshock film rights poached by Universal

By Ed Fear

May 9th 2008 at 11:35AM

Ken Levine being 'regularly consulted' on project

Take Two has signed a deal with Universal to produce a film based on last year's smash hit Bioshock, to be directed and produced by Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski.

According to Variety, Take-Two will receive a multi-million dollar advance, believed to be the biggest videogame-to-movie deal since 2005's doomed Halo signing by Fox and Universal. Universal apparently got a first look at the project and pre-emptively signed it up before anyone else.

Ken Levine, head of 2K Boston / 2K Australia and creative director on Bioshock, has apparently been regularly consulted with regarding the project, although no word has been forthcoming on whether he will have an official role.

Take Two executive chairman Strauss Zelnick has emphasised how important it is for Take Two to remain involved with the project, telling variety that "one of the things we decided early on is that we didn't want to go through a producer.

"It's terribly important to us to have a meaningful influence on how this project is produced. We didn't want any insulation between us."

Verbinski added: "I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that's cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential. Of all the games I've played, this is one that I felt has a really strong narrative."

John Logan, writer of 'Aviator', is currently in talks to write the script of the movie, after which Verbinski plans to immediatey begin pre-production of the film.