When last we heard news of the Bioshock movie, Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was directing a huge-budget movie for Universal. Then, Universal got cold feet over the money the epic flick was costing it, and pulled the plug on Verbinski in favor of making a cheaper Bioshock movie in another country. Verbinski was like, "I don't know if I wanna do that..." and it looked like the whole movie was sunk (get it?). But not so fast... Slash Film reports that the movie has found a new director, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
Fresnadillo directed 28 Weeks Later, and that's about all he's directed, as far as U.S. films, so you can't help but regard this as a step down in scale for the Bioshock movie. While 28 Weeks Later is a competent, enjoyable sequel, Verbinski's resume and versatility just blows Fresnadillo out of the water. The guy made The Ring, The Weatherman, and Pirates of the Caribbean -- each of which is a mind-blowing movie in totally unrelated genres. Verbinski is amazing, while Fresnadillo is... let's say "untested."
As for the budget, personally, I don't think size matters. Gore Verbinski could make a great movie with 16 bucks and cam-corder, and you could give Uwe Boll a billion, and he still wouldn't make a good flick. But Universal's general lowering of expectations for the Bioshock movie does not inspire confidence in me, as a member of the audience.
I also don't know if Bioshock would be that great of a movie no matter who made it. The material in the game is perfectly suited to the video game genre, but I don't know it it could make a viable film. Sure, you could create an epic, special effects extravaganza based on the setting and plot, but watching the Little Sisters being either saved or harvested is a far cry from deciding whether to do it yourself... and the entire "Would you kindly?" plot twist only works in a game... Still, it's sad that we probably won't get to see what Verbinski would have made of it.