Ken Levine has cast doubt over plans to turn BioShock into a film, stating that Irrational has "no need" to see the project come to fruition.
The possibility of a BioShock film first surfaced in 2008, when it emerged that Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was working on an adaptation. His efforts ultimately floundered, and for a while it looked as if the idea was dead.
Earlier this year Levine, co-founder and creative director at Irrational, said that he was still talking to people about the project. But now Levine has admitted that Irrational has no burning need to see the film made.
"We got very close to having it get made – we had a deal in place and a director," explained Levine, speaking to Industry Gamers. "But for us there's no burning [desire] to have a movie made just to get it made."
He continued: "For us and for Take-Two, it's really got to be something that will a) give the fans something that they want, and b) for those who don't know BioShock, really introduce them to something that is consistent with the game, and is it going to be a good representation of the game."
In other words, Levine doesn't want an adaptation which has nothing to do with the source material.
"There are differences between games and movies, no doubt, but the movie has to draw from the same DNA in terms of the world and the story beats," he said. "But you know, we don't have a need to get it made."
While it may sound as if Levine is being dismissive here, this is actually more or less what he said back at the end of May. Irrational is keeping its distance; it's clearly open to the idea of a BioShock movie, but it's not a priority for the studio.
The bigger clue here is that Levine is sticking to the same response; nothing has really changed. In Hollywood terms, that probably means that the project is on ice for the time being. That said, things could quite easily start up again - particularly if next year's BioShock Infinite is a big success.