Pre-production on the movie version of 2K's BioShock franchise has ground to a halt after no studio was found who was willing to invest in an R-rated version of the tale, the flick's producer has explained.

Pirates of the Caribbean shot-caller Gore Verbinksi told ComingSoon that he wasn't willing to sanitise his "really, really scary" vision for the film in order to make it a more commercial prospect.

"I couldn't really get past anybody that would spend the money that it would take to do it and keep an R rating," he explained.

"Alternately, I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!'

"It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that price tag."

Verbinski went on to discuss how, in theory, the film would have been a perfect fit for 3D.

"[Bioshock] would be a great movie to do in 3D. I'd like to go into that world wearing a pair of glasses. I think in general, gaming is perfect for 3D. Anything where you're the protagonist. The kid in The Shining on the big wheel, going around corridors. That's what 3D is perfect for. To make people feel on-edge."

A film adaptation of the FPS classic was first announced back in 2008 before it took up residence in development hell.

In April 2009 Universal Studios demanded Verbinski trim down the project's swollen $160 million budget, and then everything went quiet.

Franchise creator Ken Levine insisted the project was still alive and kicking back in September last year, but it seems any chance of seeing Rapture on screen has now been well and truly sunk.

The next game in the series, BioShock Infinite, is due next year on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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