By Justin Kroll
Senior Film Reporter
EXCLUSIVE: The long-awaited feature film adaptation of the renowned video game franchise BioShock looks to be gaining momentum in a big way. Sources tell Deadline that Netflix has tapped Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence to helm the pic, with Michael Green adapting the script.
The directing and writing assignment had been among the more sough-after jobs in the industry after Netflix said in February it was partnering with video game holding company Take-Two Interactive and its game publisher subsidiary 2K to produce a BioShock film. Since then, the studio and its partners have been aiming high on who would help guide this project given the scope of the property, looking at A-list directors and writers for the job.
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The studio has been high on Lawrence since the spring, as he is someone who has shown the ability at adapting popular IP into global hits. One example is what he did for the Hunger Games franchise after Gary Ross left the series after directing the first film. That franchise became a smash; Lawrence has since returned to direct the prequel, Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is in production now and will premiere in 2023.
Since Lawrence is currently filming that, the plan is for Green to adapt the BioShock script and, once Lawrence has wrapped, he can jump into pre-production.
Set across multiple dystopian and visionary landscapes gone wrong, the BioShock video game series blends sci-fi and horror to pose unique existential and societal questions reshaping how game stories are told—all amidst pulse-pounding action gameplay that rewards sharp shooting, clever planning and lethal improvisation. The award-winning franchise first introduced by 2K in 2007 has sold more than 39 million copies worldwide across the original releases of titles including BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite, as well as multiple rereleases, remastered editions and bundled collections.
Roy Lee will produce the movie through his Vertigo Entertainment along with Lawrence for about:blank and 2K. Executive producers are Cameron MacConomy for about:blank and Strauss Zelnick for Take-Two.
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Besides Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Lawrence has the fantasy pic Slumberland starring Jason Momoa bowing later this year. He is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson
Green most recently worked on The Jungle Cruise and Death on the Nile. He is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Patti Felker.
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