Variety is reporting today that Universal Pictures is putting the brakes on the current pre-production of the upcoming Bioshock movie due to budgetary concerns. Apparently the plan to film Bioshock in the Los Angeles area was a significant contributing factor to the film's estimated $160 million budget. This prompted Universal to ask director Gore Verbinski--whose previous work includes the couldn't-have-been-cheap Pirates of the Caribbean movies--to move production outside of the US in order to take advantage of a tax credit. Verbinski is quoted by Variety as saying “We are evaluating whether this is something we want to do. In the meantime, the film is in a holding pattern.”
This isn't the first time Universal's concerns about the budget of a high-profile video game adaptation have impacted production, an issue that was reportedly a big part of what killed Peter Jackson's plans for a Halo movie. Both Verbinski and Universal, though, are vowing that Bioshock will not become another Halo. As ripe as the moody, philosophical stylings of Bioshock are for a film adaptation, a video game moving not getting made wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. What they really need to worry about is if it becomes another Doom.