Universal Studios has announced plans to bring hit Xbox 360 shooter BioShock to the big screen.
The film will be directed by Gore Verbinski, whose previous credits include the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and The Ring. John Logan, who wrote Gladiator, The Aviator and Sweeney Todd, is in talks to produce the screenplay.
As reported by Variety, Verbinski is jolly excited about BioShock's unique setting and storyline. Apparently he's particularly inspired by the Big Daddies and the Little Sisters, plus the art deco stylings of Rapture.
"I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that's cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential," he stated. "Of all the games I've played, this is one that I felt has a really strong narrative."
Verbinski has already been consulting with Ken Levine, the game's creative director, but it's not clear if he'll have an official role in the film's production.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick was responsible for negotiating the deal with Universal. "One of the things we decided early on is that we didn't want to go through a producer. It's terribly important to us to have a meaningful influence on how this project is produced. We didn't want any insulation between us," he commented.
According to Variety this is the biggest videogame-movie deal since 2005, when Universal and Fox signed up to produce a Halo movie. That project has since fallen in the toilet, but Zelnick is promising that won't happen with BioShock.
"The reason I structured it the way I did is to make sure it gets made," he said.
A release date for the film has yet to be set, but Verbinski said he wants to begin pre-production as soon as the script is ready. Meanwhile a sequel to the original videogame is also in development, and due to arrive late next year.