Universal has halted production on Bioshock, the adaptation of the critically-lauded video game, amid concerns over the budget being touted for the production by director Gore Verbinski.
According to Variety, the cost of the film rocketed up to $160 million, causing both Universal and Verbinski to seek cheaper ways of making the film, including a possible relocation of the shooting location from Los Angeles to London.
Verbinski said he had been “asked by Universal to move the film outside the US to take advantage of a tax credit”. He goes on to add that the team is “evaluating whether this is something we want to do”.
It’s an interesting development given the juice Verbinski has built for himself on the back of the ludicrously successful Pirates of the Caribbean films. Surely, although based on a videogame, this will be able to take $200 million if he can do it right.
Maybe that’s the question. Verbinski has never been given credit for the success of the Pirates films. They are relatively well directed but there never seems to be any auteurist touches to differentiate Verbinski from any other competent action director. Not only that, but he really failed to draw suitably decent performances from either Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
Perhaps thought, and the most likely answer, is that the movie industry is seeking way to cut costs amid a recession worldwide. Like any other bottom-line business, they have to find ways to save money and take off some pressure from the film having to rack up huge box-office numbers, something which seems increasingly difficult for those films not based on a comic book character.