It was BioShock creator Ken Levine who pulled the plug on Universal's in development BioShock movie, after budget cuts left the project compromised, Levine told Edge at this week's BAFTA event in London.
"There was a deal in place and it was actually in production at Universal, and Gore Verbinski was directing it," said Levine. "And what happened was – this is my theory – it's a very big movie and Gore was very excited about it and he wanted to make a very dark, what he would call a 'hard-rated' horror film – an R rated film with a lot of blood. Then The Watchmen came out – and I really liked The Watchmen – but it didn't do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film.
"So they said, 'Gore, what about it if it was an $80 million film?' and enough time had gone by where Gore didn't want to make an $80 million dollar film."
Levine continued: "They brought another director in and I didn't really see the match there – Take Two is one of those companies that gives a lot of trust to their creative people and so they said to me, 'if you want to kill it Ken, kill it'. And I killed it."
In the end Levine says it wasn't a project he was willing to compromise on.
"It was saying, 'You know what? I don't need to compromise'. I had the [BioShock] world, and I didn't what to see it done in a way I didn't think was right."