Hunger Games director signs on for BioShock movie

A new Deadlynot (opens in a new tab)e report says Hunger Games director Francois Laurent (opens in a new tab) has been signed to direct the next BioShock movie, while the screenplay will be adapted by Michael Green (opens in a new tab)whose previous credits include Logan, Alien: Covenant and American Gods.

Getting BioShock on the big screen was a struggle. The first game in the series was released in 2007, 15 years ago, and while a Gore Verbinski-directed film project was announced the following year, the project stalled and eventually fell apart. In 2013, BioShock creative director Ken Levine blamed the failure on Watchmen, an R-rated superhero movie that didn’t do very well at the box office. Universal wanted to cut BioShock’s budget but Verbinski didn’t, so he parted ways. Levine said he “didn’t really see the match” with director Universal brought in to replace Verbinski, so he canned everything. (opens in a new tab).

That was the end of things until February when Netflix announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive (opens in a new tab) “to produce a film adaptation of the acclaimed video game franchise.” There was no indication of Levine’s role in the new project, if any, and he doesn’t appear to have publicly commented on it. The most recent BioShock game, BioShock Infinite, was released in 2013; These days, Levine is working on something entirely new at Ghost Story.

With or without him, Netflix’s BioShock movie seems to move forward with a level of purpose and urgency the original project never had. Signing a director and screenwriter is a long way from putting images on a screen, but Netflix has a pretty solid history to get things going, and it hasn’t been shy about leveraging video games for new content: The network has also published or working on new films or series based on The Witcher, Resident Evil, Dota, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good and Evil and The Division.