Hunger Games director signs up for the BioShock movie

BioShock 1 Big Daddy art
(Image credit: 2k)

A new Deadline report says Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence has been signed to direct the upcoming BioShock film, while the script will be adapted by Michael Green, whose previous credits include Logan, Alien: Covenant, and American Gods.

Getting BioShock to the big screen has been a struggle. The first game in the series was released in 2007—that's 15 years ago—and while a film project helmed by Gore Verbinski was announced the following year, the project stalled and ultimately fell apart. In 2013, BioShock creative director Ken Levine blamed the failure on Watchmen, an R-rated superhero flick that didn't do very well at the box office. Universal wanted to cut BioShock's budget but Verbinski did not, so he split. Levine said he "didn't really see the match" with the director Universal brought in to replace Verbinski, so he canned the whole thing.

That was the end of things until February, when Netflix announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive "to produce a film adaptation of the renowned video game franchise." There was no indication as to Levine's role on the new project, if any, and he doesn't appear to have publicly commented on it. The most recent BioShock game, BioShock Infinite, came out in 2013; these days Levine is working on something entirely new at Ghost Story.

With or without him, Netflix's BioShock film seems to be moving ahead with a level of purpose and urgency that 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 of getting things done, and it hasn't been shy about taking advantage of videogames for new content: The network has also released or is working on new films or series based on The Witcher, Resident Evil, Dota, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Division.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.