The attempt to adapt Irrational Games’ Bioshock for the big screen is a story almost as tragic as that of the game’s fallen utopia of Rapture. Originally snapped up in 2008 with director Gore Verbinski at the helm (hopefully channeling equal parts The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean), the film was supposed to be a hard-R flick that didn’t wince at violence. When the studio execs balked at the proposed $200 million budget and counteroffered with $80 million, Verbinski dropped out at was replaced by 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who then left the project in 2012. The final nail in the coffin game in the form of Irrational Games’ own Ken Levine, who was given carte blanche by publisher 2K Games to pull the proverbial plug if he saw fit. He did.
The concept artist for this tale of woe, one Jim Martin, has released his portfolio of art for the sunken film, at it adds quite a bit of saltwater to the wound. The concept art looks to capture Bioshock’s art-deco sensibility perfectly, and a few of the new environments (the Big Daddy salvage yard? Yeesh.) seem to dovetail nicely into the original vision of the game. Of course, there had to have been a reason for Levine to pull the plug on the project, so maybe we ducked a giant, arm-mounted drill on this one.
You can check out a few choice pieces of art below, and the whole portfolio over at Jim Martin’s website.