It’s been a hot minute since Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, The Hunger Games series) gave an update on the status of his upcoming BioShock movie, but sometimes, no news is indeed good news. The director has shared his current progress at turning Ken Levine’s beloved game into a live-action venture, revealing there’s a draft of the script he’s feeling excited about.
“Yeah, we got a little stuck,” he says. “I was hoping we’d be further along before the writer strike. We got a little stuck during the writer strike, but now that part’s over. And I will say that I have a draft that I’m super, super excited about.”
The road to a big screen adaptation hasn’t been the smoothest, with a 2017 attempt — meant to be directed by Gore Verbinski — scrapped just eight weeks before shooting. The popular IP was later registered by Sony, before Netflix sealed the deal with 2K and Take-Two Interactive in 2022.
This comes after writer Michael Green told Collider that the team had returned to work on the project following the end of the writers’ strike, but wasn’t at liberty to disclose more information. Nonetheless, it spells good news for fans, particularly those who are intrigued by the idea of Rapture and Jack in a live-action BioShock movie — just like Lawrence himself.
“I like stories about very solitary figures,” he told IGN. “That doesn’t mean that they’re always by themselves, but they’re on these solitary journeys. And if you know anything about BioShock, the first game, the lead character, who is the video game player, is a very solitary figure going on a very solitary journey, which I love.”
“The other thing that I really look for is the world-building possibilities, because I like the visual side of filmmaking,” he continued. “I like the world-building side of filmmaking and all the layers. And the idea of helping bring a Rapture to life in a feature film is super, super exciting. And all the detail and going back into ‘what was it like when it was thriving and alive, and what’s left over?’ And there’s elements of I Am Legend in that, which I’m really excited to bring to life.”
For the uninitiated, Rapture refers to the underwater city in which the first two BioShock games were set. Jack, the sole survivor of a plane crash, is a silent protagonist in the original, before Subject Delta took over the reins in the sequel. The third entry, BioShock Infinite, featured an entirely new world (excluding the DLC) and main character. The award-franchise was first introduced in 2007 and has since more than 41 million copies worldwide across the three games, as well as multiple re-releases, remastered editions, and bundled collections.
It’s unclear when fans will be able to revisit Rapture once again, but Lawrence’s forthcoming film, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set to deliver a vast lore of a different nature. Releasing 17 November in theatres, the prequel to the popular dystopian series rewinds the clock to 64 years before the events in The Hunger Games trilogy, with a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) serving as the main driver of the story.