Universal Begins Production on Bioshock Infinite: The Movie
Though a feature length film adaptation of Irrational Games’ original Bioshock failed to gain traction and move past the fires of development hell, it would appear rights holder Universal Studios is looking to the sky for another run at bringing the critically acclaimed IP to the silver screen.
Greenlit on the back of a spec script written by Jeremy Leven (The Notebook, The Time Traveler’s Wife) in conjunction with genre scribe Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus), Universal is fast tracking a film loosely based upon 2013’s stalwart gaming experience, Bioshock Infinite.
While several key plot elements from the game remain in place – a man, a lighthouse, a floating city – Universal’s hurried excitement to reimagine Infinite for the big screen stems from the biggest narrative change found in Leven and Lindelof’s script: protagonists Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth Comstock are “wayward lovers in their mid to late twenties” attempting to reunite in the midst of a civil war waged on the streets of Columbia, a city segregated from the U.S. by clouds.
Booker fights alongside a rebellion of lower class citizens, the Vox Populi, while Elizabeth is the heiress to the ruling, and wealthy, Comstock family. The game’s religious overtones, Comstock’s cult in particular, are apparently being toned down purposely to service a wider palette, traded in for the classic struggle between the rich and the poor.
“It’s sort of a high concept, genre take on Romeo and Juliet,” said Lindelof. "Jeremy [Leven] has proven time and again he knows how to write fully fleshed out characters. I mean, characterization is his thing obviously. I came aboard because I wanted to realize the world of Columbia and play with the really lofty, cool concepts Irrational laid down, like multi-dimensional traversal and gigantic steampunk birdman things.“
"It’s been great working on this project with Damon,” said Leven. “We really complement each other’s strengths well, I think. I’m the go-to guy for drama and romance and such, while Damon’s your man when it’s time to maul a dude’s face with a skyhook.”
Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling and Tinseltown sweetheart Rachel McAdams are said to be in negotiations to play the roles of star-crossed lovers Booker and Elizabeth respectively. “I’ve never heard of Bioshock, haven’t played a video game since Mario [laughs], but I immediately fell in love with the script,” Gosling said. “It’s really heady, really out there. And the love these two characters have for one another… It’s a bond stronger than blood.”
Universal currently has a short list of directors favored to helm the picture including Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick Ass), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men), and Francis Lawrence (Constantine, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Ken Levine, series creator and former head of the now disbanded Irrational, has confirmed he will be serving in an executive producing capacity. When asked how extensive his involvement would be, Levine replied, “I receive a paycheck and commence loud, hearty laughter on my way to the bank.”
UPDATE: April 2nd is here, folks. Thanks to all who believed my fabricated bullshit; you truly made April Fools’ a special day for me.