Some cheered and others cursed when news broke last week that Universal Studios was asking director Gore Verbinski to rethink the budget for his BioShock movie. There's one piece of information most people overlooked, however, that Variety's Cut Scene blog believes could ensure the movie still gets made.
When BioShock publisher Take-Two Interactive negotiated a deal for the BioShock movie with Universal Studios in 2008, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick stressed that BioShock would not face the same fate as the troubled (and now dead) Halo project.
"The reason I structured it the way I did is to make sure it gets made," he told Variety when the deal was announced last May.
Zelnick's language suggests Universal Studios would face financial penalties if they weren't able to get the BioShock movie going. Whether those incentives are enough to keep Verbinski committed to getting project costs down remains to be seen.
I'd be bummed to see the BioShock movie fall by the wayside (Verbinski's The Ring is one of my favorite modern American horror flicks), but the less-than-blockbuster performance of Watchmen may be tempering enthusiasm for studios to take chances on big-budget projects likely to earn themselves an R-rating.