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R-Rating Sunk BioShock Movie Plans

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the look-at-little-sister dept.

Movies 140

Back in 2008, it was announced that BioShock would be getting a movie adaptation. Those plans never really materialized, and director Gore Verbinski has now explained why: "I couldn't really get past anybody that would spend the money that it would take to do it and keep an R rating. Alternately, I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!' It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that price tag."

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damn (1)

Akare (554350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218900)

sounds awesome

Re:damn (4, Insightful)

berwiki (989827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220516)

is anyone surprised? you have to murder little girls for their spirit energy or whatever. the base concept is a little fucked up.

Re:damn (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220580)

I don't get it though, shows like Supernatural have that sort of stuff in them all the time, and you can do an awful lot by implication, just look at Paranormal activity. I think the direction he was going to take is the problem here, not the basic concept.

Re:damn (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220708)

I don't get it though, shows like Supernatural have that sort of stuff in them all the time, and you can do an awful lot by implication, just look at Paranormal activity. I think the direction he was going to take is the problem here, not the basic concept.

Wasn't Paranormal Activity rated R? The game is definitely more adult fare. It's very dark, and certainly has imagery and themes that should probably be covered by an R rating. I don't know that he could make the movie and stay faithful to the game without going that route. Not sure what alternative you're suggesting.

Re:damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221002)

Lets see how many censor boxes we can tick, and see which ones can be done "by implication, like Paranormal Activity" without comprimising "Bioshock":
Injecting EVE. (Drug use)
Little girls, mentally conditioned to extract substances from corpses(WTF? Drug use. Child abuse. Corpse abuse)
Harvesting Little Sisters (Child murder)
Saving Little Sisters (Child abuse!)
Killing splicers (violence)
Big Daddys (Sustained threat, violence)
Unborn Jack sold by mother to arch-enemy of his father whereupon the arch-enemy mentally conditions Jack to murder his father (WTF?)
Jack murders Andrew Ryan (his father) with a golf-club, at Ryan's request, based on his previous mental conditioning (Violence with sporting goods. Patricide)

When the "basic concept" of the game involves using "Fucked Up Shit" in order to explore the Fucked Up nature of objectivism taken to its most extreme conclusions it becomes increasingly hard to chase a PG-13 rating and still remain true to the "basic concept". A movie like Doom could appease studios/censors because Doom really doesn't have much of a story and a writer/director could create as detailed and comprehensive a narrative as they wanted to, could hide gore and gibs etc. without losing the "basic concept" because the "basic concept" is to run around, shooting what are very very obviously Bad Things. It has a basic "basic concept".

Re:damn (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220688)

You don't have to, that's the point. There's a moral choice, kill the girls and be rewarded immediately with more "ADAM", or save the girls and be rewarded with less ADAM now, but a clean conscience and a happier ending/easier Big Bad fight at the climax when the little girls come to help you. The "base concept" is a little fucked up, not because it condones child murder, but because it explores/critiques moral objectivism by taking them all the way to some pretty out-there conclusions.

Re:damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220740)

You don't *have* to kill them. You're presented with a choice to harvest their ADAM (thus killing them) or to save them. If you save them, you still collect ADAM, just not as much as if you harvested them. However, if you do save them, later on they leave gifts for you, like extra ADAM and bonus upgrades.

Donations from pirates? Arr. (4, Insightful)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218904)

How about we each give the guy $10 and proceed to pirate the movie off tpb when it's done? Wouldn't it be just?

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

Nialin (570647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219008)

You're suggesting that pirates pay for that which they are to pirate?
You, sir, have contradicted yourself.

Nevertheless, I like your idea :)

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219030)

You're suggesting that pirates pay for that which they are to pirate?

You, sir, have contradicted yourself.

Nevertheless, I like your idea :)

Actually I think he contradicted my cock and balls.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219672)

Technically he's suggesting bypassing the big publishing and distribution companies.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (2)

simon0411 (1921684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219018)

Sure, if you could get 3~5 million other like-minded people to fork over 10 bucks, sight unseen, with no guarantee that the movie would be any good, or even completed within a couple year's time. ($50M production cost seems like a good ballpark for a movie of this type.) And you'd pretty much have to put up this money all at once. Big movies can't be made piecemeal, assembling actors and technicians, negotiating with unions, renting out sets... these are complicated tasks.

Maybe you'd have an easier time finding fewer people willing to contribute more money upfront. Maybe some of them want contracts stipulating when the movie must be delivered. Maybe you'd get more donations if you promise that, should the movie make a profit somehow, that it would be shared amongst everyone. Perhaps some of the investors may feel that the movie would have a better chance of returning a profit if it had a marketing budget, and reach the widest number of viewers possible.

Hello, new corporate movie studio.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

simon0411 (1921684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219078)

Oh, and I hope I'm not coming across as dismissive of your idea; it would be great if it worked. It's just not likely to work across the board, and it probably would succumb to the same problems of the big studios/Hollywood: this sort of "democracy" is often not conducive to art. Big movies are group efforts, and they require big financial backing, which is also a group effort. I can't foresee how individual contributors would behave any different from movie studio shareholders.

Instead, what is needed is a financially independent movie studio run by someone with vision. Which typically isn't compatible with big movies.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (3, Interesting)

PriyanPhoenix (900509) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220550)

Actually this is essentially how Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] fundraising works, but admittedly on a much larger scale. The budget for the project a deadline for the money to be raised are set and anyyone can pledge money, but no one is actually charged unless the funding goal is reached. If it is, everyone's money is automatically debited; if not, the project has failed to meet its target and none of the backers lose out.

Now, this presupposes that merely raising the $50m will actually guarantee the film gets made - which it doesn't - but with a large number of small backers, the risk to each is limited. And when it's made they all get a free digital version of the finished product. The only guarantee of quality is whatever pre-production artwork and other information can be used to entice people to contribute.

Obviously backers that way are not traditional investors and don't get a share in profits. Instead they have rewards based on their contribution. $30 might get a DVD version of the completed film, $50 the blu-ray, $100 signed artwork, $1000 some set piece memorabilia, etc.

Do I think you can actually, workably scale this kind of idea up to the level of Hollywood film production? Probably not, but it's not entirely ridiculous either.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220640)

How about an optional extra charge on retail sales or subscriptions, pay an extra $10 if you want to see the movie made, or a bit less in ongoing payments. By March 2010, BioShock had sold 4 million copies - it's potentially doable. You might not get the full amount but if you only need half what you originally wanted, its much easier to find investors.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219094)

How about we each pledge money for a possible share in the profits? If it doesn't reach $50m or $75m or whatever it takes to do the film justice, no-one pays and it doesn't get made. If it gets made and doesn't make a profit, we don't get the money but we do get a kick-ass Bioshock movie and the knowledge we contributed. Crowd-sourced movie funding on a massive scale.

If 500,000 people pledged $200 each or 1,000,000 people pledged $100, it would have a budget of $100m, which is 6 times the budget of Brazil [wikipedia.org] , twice the budget of The One [wikipedia.org] which had Jet Li in it, fighting copies of himself, more than twice the budget of Sin City [wikipedia.org] and only half of what James Cameron needed for Titanic/Avatar.

I would be in the front of the queue.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219140)

OK, having now read the fine article, the budget that the studio asked to be cut, was $160m, but the point stands.1,600,000 donating $100 or 800,000 donating $200.

(Incidentally, $10 is silly money because it would take 16 million people to get the movie made, which is doubtful, and to get people to donate more than that, they need more inducement than "you can have a free copy of the movie". )

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (2)

orangebox (1997192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219324)

Why not copy what The Tunnel [thetunnelmovie.net] movie did and have people pay $1 per frame. They also randomly choose a frame, and the owner of that frame gets %1 of any money they make.

Certainly a fun way to get involved in a movie creation.

Would it be possible to donate cycles from individual PCs to help render scenes, similar to the SETI project ? That would cut costs dramatically.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219376)

Uh so 100 people buying 100 frames means those people combined get 100% of the profits?

Of course if they use Hollywood accounting the movie never makes any profit, so they can promise to give out 135000% of the profits but never actually have to pay out anything.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219400)

No, only one frame pays out. You're buying a lottery ticket along with your frame: if you get the one luck frame out of 135,000, you get the 1%.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219776)

You misunderstand; it's a lottery. 135,000 people each pick a frame. One frame is chosen after shooting, and that frame's owner gets 1% of the profits.

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220636)

Why not copy what The Tunnel [thetunnelmovie.net] movie did and have people pay $1 per frame

Because that would make $135,000. What I think the OP was suggesting (and what I definitely was suggesting) was that enough people donating a relatively small amount could finance the whole movie at the budget he was seeking. The budget that Gore (who directed three Pirates of the Caribbean movies) was negotiating with the studio was ~$160m. His argument being that you cannot make a Bioshock movie for less on the grounds that you have to recreate an underwater, art-deco, alternate-history aesthetic with CGI special effects, prosthetics, stunts, etc. The studio seems to be ok with the budget provided he chases a PG-13 rating, which would utterly ruin the story. He did the right thing and said "wtf? no!".

$1 a frame is a fun amount, like buying a lottery ticket with a 1 in 135,000 chance of winning 1% of some number that depends on how good the movie is and how good the production accountants are. If however I were giving a non-trivial amount toward production of a commercial project (as some seem to be on The Tunnel), I'd want a much better chance of getting some of my money back. This Tunnel thing sounds like a scam. $135,000 for a low-budget film, raised by people contributing with the hope of, maybe, seeing 1% of the profits of the movie.(Bearing in mind it will be released via BitTorrent and may never have a theatrical release).

On a date yet to be determined by the Producers, one of these frames will be selected at the sole discretion of the Producers to receive a 1% profit share in the movie. The 1% profit share will only produce revenue once the project is deemed to be in profit. Profit occurs after the US$135,000 to complete production has been recouped and all costs associated with further exploitation of the movie and other elements of the project have been reimbursed. The recipient of the 1% share will be contacted via email or telephone.

It sounds like someone watched The Producers and thought they'd have a go at it. Low budget Blair Witch in the sewers of Australia? In 2011? Distributed for free, via BitTorrent? Wha?

Scenario 1:
Movie is picked up by a major studio and they want to re-make it (a la The Ring (directed by Gore Verbinski incidentally) etc.), no rights pass to the contributors, they belong to the producers, who make fat coin by selling the rights to the studio. The studio have no obligation to give 1% of the profits to anyone.
Scenario 2:
The movie sees a limited theatrical release/DVD release, covers costs and makes a small "profit". The profit is eaten up by "the costs associated with further exploitation of the movie and other elements of the project"

Re:Donations from pirates? Arr. (1)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220170)

If there's one person in the world who's entitled to the sweat of his brow, it's the man who makes a movie version of Bioshock. So I'm willing to pay the regular way.

Reason why it failed (5, Funny)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218922)

If the filmmaker only would've started his sentence with "would you kindly", he would've got unconditional support for making the movie

Re:Reason why it failed (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218960)

Or "think of the children that will pay the full adult price to get in".

Same rating as the game... ? (2)

deemaunik (699970) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218928)

Why the fuck would it matter? Bioshock's rated M, or 18+, or any other multitude of Adult Only, depending on region. When the game did so well with the rating, why wouldn't anyone think a film would? Wait, it's members of the MPAA we're discussing here. Not exactly the sharpest tacks, yeah?

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218982)

Businessmen making art.... Always gonna fuck it up.

    Not suprised at all. Kinda sad too. the bioshock story is awesome.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (4, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219004)

I think Terry Gilliam has come up with the best explanation:

It used to be that studio execs were entrepreneurs. Businessmen with vision willing to take risks. These days studios are part of media conglomerates so modern studio execs are middle management, bringing with them the mindset of the middle manager.

Makes sense to me.

Re:middle managers (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219824)

I propose a movie about a middle manager who gets captured and experimented on! Excise his overactive caution brain centers!

Re:middle managers (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219892)

Try watching 'swimming with sharks'. A young movie exec gets fed up with being treated like nothing so kidnaps and tortures his boss, one of the big time movie producers. A good watch.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (1)

emt377 (610337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220402)

I think Terry Gilliam has come up with the best explanation:

It used to be that studio execs were entrepreneurs. Businessmen with vision willing to take risks.

They still take risks, it's just that they aren't going to invest in something that excludes half the 10-25 year old movie going audience before it's even made. That's not a risk, that's throwing money away. This of course is why we get so much formulaic crap with overacting, lack of all subtlety, predictable plots, the equivalent of poop and fart jokes, and characters intended to appeal to a simplistic childish world view. Adults don't go see movies because it's likely to be an uninteresting way to spend an evening - and it's uninteresting because movies are made to appeal to a pre-adult audience.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219246)

the bioshock story is awesome.

The setting of the story is awesome. The story itself was too predictable. An hour or two into the game and you could see where it was going; too many clichés.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219526)

The story itself was too predictable. An hour or two into the game and you could see where it was going; too many clichés.

For a 2.5 hour movie, that's not such a big problem.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218996)

The MBAs have spreadsheets that say an R-rated film will not make as much money as a PG-13 one. DO NOT QUESTION THE SPREADSHEETS MORTAL!

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219000)

The supposed biggest market for going to see movies is the 12-18 market - lots of free time and disposable income I guess - which is why they always try and shoehorn some obnoxious teenagers into every movie, even when there's no justification for doing so, so that this mythical audience have someone to "identify with".

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219006)

Movies do actually suffer depending on rating. If the MPAA rules require adult supervision for certain films, less kids will be attending than were that not the case but all other things the same. This is not the same as parents forbidding children to attend based on rating, it is a function of convenience for parents and children. Only those movies that appeal to both adults and kids would mitigate this, but not completely.

The ESRB ratings do not have the same consequences for games for several reasons. First is ubiquity of compliance with the rules set out in these systems. Both systems are voluntary in some sense but with the caveat that something coercive would arise in their absence. Still, compliance in game distribution is less than movie attendance. Even digital sales like steam have no means of verification once logged into the account(which I suspect is typical).

A movie still may do well, but this rating is a significant cost.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219572)

Movies do actually suffer depending on rating.

True, but it may also suffer depending on quality.

A movie still may do well, but this rating is a significant cost.

Maybe so, but as I understand it, this rating is also a requirement.

Shoehorning something scary and unsettling into a happy Disney story does not guarantee that ticket sales will actually increase. They're different markets. It's important to be aware of what market you're making your product for. And the fact that another market may be more profitable, does not automatically invalidate your market.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219044)

"Why the fuck would it matter?"

Precisely. Didn't they look at the demographics?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_culture [wikipedia.org]

First sentence in the first section. "The average age for a video game player is 35".

Who the hell do they think their target audience would be for a movie of the same title and content? As you point out, precisely the same people that we're allowed to buy the game with a "Mature" rating...or did they expect the game would be sold to someone else, and thus include them in their demographic model? I wonder who that might be? The same people that wouldn't be allowed to see the movie, maybe?

Just make the damned movie. Never know, it could be the next "The Exorcist"...

"After several reissues, the film eventually earned $89,000,000 in domestic rentals.[38] To date, it has a total gross of $401,400,000 worldwide; if adjusted for inflation, this would be the top-grossing R-rated film of all time." (Wikipedia, again)

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219388)

It's not about content. Their target audience is 13, period. If it's anything fantastical it has got to sell to a 13 year old. Even if they wouldn't care about the movie the trailer can make it look like they would care so they'll go see it once anyway, The only snag is the rating: Most parents won't let them go and see if if it's R. So it's gotta be PG-13.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219468)

You're right, they're thinking, "only kids play video games, so why is this movie going to be rated R", but they're also looking at statistics saying "12-18 year olds go see more movies than 35 year olds" and they're thinking, why shouldn't we try to appeal to as many potential customers as possible. Which is wrong, but that's how it works.

They are also considering the fact that there is some non-zero percentage of those people who bought the game but who buy and play games in preference to and in stead of going to the movies. Do a straw poll of everyone you know who played Doom/Doom 3 and see how many went to see the Doom movie in theatres. Now what about Resident Evil, or Silent Hill or Mortal Kombat or Super Mario Bros. or House Of The Dead or Tomb Raider?

It's all wrong and it all sucks but "The Suits" don't want to gamble on "the next Exorcist". They want something that they can take to the bank.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220452)

Doom - Played most of the franchise, saw the movie
Resident Evil - played a couple in the franchise, saw the movie
Silent Hill - saw the movie, didn't play the game
Mortal Kombat - Played it a bit, saw the movie
Super Mario Bros - played most games in the franchise - didn't see the movie because the trailers looked absolutely terrible
House of the Dead - Saw the movie, didn't play the game
Tomb Raider - Saw the movie, didn't play the game (but I did watch a roomate play it a little)

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219872)

First sentence in the first section. "The average age for a video game player is 35".

Doesn't matter.

You say "video game" and the folks with money in Hollywood think "kids".

You pitch a movie with action and monsters and explosions, and the folks with money in Hollywood think "teenagers".

The target demographic for just about anything sci-fi or horror is teenagers. They really want to get that PG-13 rating.

That's why they watered down the first AvP movie so much. I mean... It's a combination of two different R-rated franchises. One of them involves aliens that skin you alive and take your skull for a trophy. The other one involves aliens that rape your face and kill you by violently exploding out of your chest. But if you can move enough of the gore off-screen you can nail that PG-13 rating, and sell a lot more tickets.

And that's what it's all about - selling tickets. If you get an R rating you've just excluded an awful lot of people who aren't old enough to go see the movie on their own. You're automatically reducing the number of people that can possibly buy your tickets.

If it's some big, complex, thoughtful, dramatic movie... Well, the odds are good that you weren't going to get too many kids in there anyway, so that doesn't really matter.

If it's a movie with explosions and monsters and lasers and whatnot... There's a good chance there are plenty of kids who'd like to go see it. And if you get an R rating, they can't. So you've just shot yourself in the foot.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219096)

That doesn't mean that the normally risk adverse studios would suddenly stop being risk adverse.

Video game movie? Must be for kids, so, PG-13.

Never mind Resident Evil was a pretty decent horror flick with an R rating that did very well at the box office...

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219348)

AVERSE.

No offense intended, but I seem to see this one all the time, and I figure learning is never bad.

Re:Same rating as the game... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219104)

Maybe it's because the game and its story was pretentious, non-scary shit and all of the prospective producers were actually smart enough to see that.

Now a System Shock film could actually be as scary as Verbinski says. Actually, just go play the game. No film can ever be as frightening as a well done horror FPS because the viewer is so detached.

What would you expect... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218938)

.... from a director called "Gore" ?

(tssss-plasssh!)

Good! It should remain a game. (1)

noobermin (1950642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218962)

And an excellent one that it.

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219080)

Yeah and LotR should have stayed as a book.

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219150)

It should have. Second film was meh, third was awful.

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (2)

raynet (51803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219346)

LotR is a book?? I always thought it was a radio drama by BBC.

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219396)

Where do you think they got the radio drama from?

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219548)

woosh

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220292)

wooosh

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (3, Funny)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219584)

No, it started as a series of sketches performed by the Cambridge Footlights, then that was made into the radio drama. That was then novelised by an enterprising young pornographer of some disrepute. (This pulp novelisation was later serialised on television by Michael Winner and Ken Russell but almost no-one ever acknowledges this). Anyway, it was only made into a book when the original sketches' notes were found and interpreted by the Red Baron, (using Alan Turing and other captured code-breakers from Bletchley Park), who believed them to be the D-Day invasion plans. Turing's recollections of this experience to Tolkien then went on to form the basis for the outline of the canonical version of the LotR books. They languished in obscurity for 50 years before eventually, a young man named Peter Jackson stumbled upon a copy of them in his grand-father's attic while investigating a sort of a musty, damp smell. But don't you try and tell that to the wikipedia editors. Bastards.

Re:Good! It should remain a game. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219550)

Well, that version of LotR definitely had the best version of Marvin the paranoid android.

Why such a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218972)

I never understood why the 'R' rating is such a big deal in America.

So you're not supposed to watch them until you're 17 unless accompanied by an adult.
In the UK being an '18' (the same thing but with 18, rather than 17 as the age) is nothing to worry about at the box office.

Re:Why such a big deal? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219056)

It's only a big deal if you want to embiggen your market. R rating simply doesn't have numbers that PG-13 does which is why we get all these "scary" movies that settles for LOUD noises and SUDDENLY APPEARING characters or objects and other piss ass cop-outs in place of real horror.

BTW, if underwater sets are too expensive, maybe he could, I don't know, change the setting to space and instead of big brothers and little sisters and whatever other siblings are in Bioshock, he could have- you know know what I'm getting at so I'll just stop. I'm hesitant to suggest survival horror games for movie plots but if you're gonna, you may as well go to the source and use with System Shock or System Shock 2.

embiggen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219098)

"embiggen"... what a perfectly cromulent word.

BTW, GrumblyStuff has AIDS.

Re:Why such a big deal? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219822)

"scary" movies that settles for LOUD noises and SUDDENLY APPEARING characters or objects and other piss ass cop-outs in place of real horror.
So we can get an R Rating by adding more Fake Blood and some Gross effects, and throw in some nudity that will make it a real horror?

Real horror movies are more emotional then just showing stuff. I think the movie could be altered for PG-13 with some clever editing.

Re:Why such a big deal? (2)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220128)

You're wrong, and also right. Fake blood, gross effects and nudity don't make a movie scary, but you can call all these nonsense PG-13 "horror" movies that Hollywood has pumped out lately even remotely scary. It can't be scary and still be suitable for a 13 year old. Hollywood hasn't made a scary movie in decades.

Re:Why such a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220430)

Silent Hill... nuff said.

Re:Why such a big deal? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220860)

A stupid, unoriginal, supernatural ghost story movie. Not scary. 'nuff said.

Also it's rated R, and has a 30/100 Metacritic score.

Re:Why such a big deal? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219106)

It's not quite the same thing, you can't see an 18 at the cinema even if accompanied by an adult, nor can you buy or rent a video/DVD/whatever at that classification if under 18.

Although practically speaking, yeah, I don't see why it's such a big deal. It's a shame, a BioShock movie that was decently made I'd probably go and see, but you can't seriously do it as a PG-13/12/whatever-your-regional-classification-is movie - the material is blatantly mature.

Plus, why would you want to make a movie that people who shouldn't even be playing the game can see? Isn't this rather encouraging people to play games that are unsuitable for them?

Re:Why such a big deal? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220092)

This isn't a US/UK thing. It's about knowing your market.

A lot of the films that get rated 15 over there get rated R over here, since we don't really have an equivalent for a 15 rating. We probably should, though. There's a fairly big difference between "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but you wouldn't know it from looking at our ratings.

If you look at the 4 top-grossing films in Britain that are rated R over here, you'll see that all of them (The Full Monty, the Bridget Jones movies, Love Actually) are comedies set in England. And those aren't really at the top. Lesson: if you want to make a rated R film that does well in the UK, make it about the quirky romantic lives of British people.

(Not that I'm judging. The Passion of the Christ is our top grossing R-rated film, sadly.)

I was trying to find out what the highest-grossing rated 18 film is in Britain, but I get tired of scrolling down the Wikipedia page looking for films that are rated R over here and checking them in IMDB. Lesson: you're damn straight it's something to worry about at the box office, there's no way Verbinski could get "Pirates of the Caribbean"-level box office receipts no matter how good it was, either in the US, the UK, or anywhere else.

fuck slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218992)

your buggy captchas suck, i wont even try to re-post.

Re:fuck slashdot (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219218)

your buggy captchas suck, i wont even try to re-post.

And nothing of value was lost.

Re:fuck slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219250)

your buggy captchas suck, i wont even try to re-post.

And nothing of value was lost.

Your post went through OK... but nothing of value was gained.

Bite my arse.

Re:fuck slashdot (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220070)

Get an account, use http://mailinator.com/ [mailinator.com] and you can post as AC all you want, no captchas. You lazy ass.

The Dark Knight (1, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219034)

Great use of suspense, menace, and inference. A pretty sinister film, with drug references, violence, and and an antagonist who creeps the hell out of you.

Not a single drop of blood or curse word = 12A in the UK. Quite a feat, that. I guess this director just isn't up to that standard. Probably shouldn't be making the film.

Re:The Dark Knight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219048)

I remember enjoying TDK, but looking back, none of it was actually memorable.

Re:The Dark Knight (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219144)

It doesn't have to be memorable. It has to be profitable.

Re:The Dark Knight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219680)

That's where you and the (failed?) director disagree. Profit is a secondary concern when you're tasked with creating a classic. 2001 wasn't immediately profitable either. No one will remember The Dark Knight in 2020.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219090)

Dark Knight still had to pull its punches in order to sneak through as a 12A. It was also a controversial decision by the BBFC. The director wasn't suggesting that it was violence or swearing that were the issue, he was saying that he couldn't make it as dark / scary as he wanted. He's right, exactly because if he made it as dark as he wanted to then the certification board would never give it the rating the studio wanted.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219148)

Great use of suspense, menace, and inference. A pretty sinister film, with drug references, violence, and and an antagonist who creeps the hell out of you. Not a single drop of blood or curse word = 12A in the UK. Quite a feat, that. I guess this director just isn't up to that standard. Probably shouldn't be making the film.

Um, the point here is, this director wanted to make a BioShock film. You're saying he should have made a film about something different and called it BioShock? I guess this director has higher standards...

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219864)

Errr..huh? You trolling? Batman is a story about an almost completely unambiguously good protagonist, fighting against an unambiguously bad antagonist. At the end of the story the protagonist triumphs. There is so much leeway in that cookie-cutter template of a movie that you could drive a fucking truck through the gap. The real work a director/writer has to do with that is to add to it until it *becomes* sinister and brooding, and suspenseful. Compare with Bioshock, where the story is already complex, suspenseful and has a fairly morally ambiguous set of characters. Depending on the choices made, the "most good" character is not the player character at all. Christopher Nolan did a good job of The Dark Knight (& Batman Begins) and I enjoyed them, but ultimately he was rebooting a franchise whose fans are so used to retcon, and liberal re-interpretations of characters in film that he would have had to work pretty hard to fuck up, especially with Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe etc. etc.

The game Bioshock is a story about a man, the protagonist, who is programmed to kill a man, ostensibly the main antagonist, who has built a vast under-water utopian society that has failed for reasons that are gradually revealed. Not least of all the un-checked use of physical augmentation and EVE (drug) use that results in large swathes of the population going insane and laying waste to anything that stands between them and more ADAM. It involves the cynical mental conditioning of small girls to harvest the dead bodies of splicers (augmented with plasmids and users of EVE). These small girls are accompanied by large men who are mentally conditioned and surgically attached to diving suits with drills for hands who react violently toward anyone who approaches their Little Sister charges. The player is forced to make a moral(?) choice whether or not to harvest these little girls, killing them, in order to get the most ADAM from them, or to "save" them. In order to progress in the game, you have to make these choices. You also have to augment your body with plasmids, and inject yourself intravenously with EVE. Is the player character, Jack, unambiguously good? He starts off "good"/neutral, but quickly has to kill or be killed. He eventually kills Andrew Ryan but that is due to his conditioning. Whether or not he harvests Little Sisters is up to the player. Harvesting all is Really Evil. Harvesting none is "good". Portraying this moral choice is not as simple as telling Christian Bale to lower his voice and sound mean. Is Andrew Ryan unambiguously evil? Is Atlas/Fontaine? Is Tenenbaum? Is Suchong?

The stumbling blocks to getting a 13/PG/whatever rating are so integral to the plot that if you removed them, it would no longer be a "Bioshock" movie, it would be..I don't know..."The Manchurian Candidate...underwater". Remove the moral choice of whether or not to harvest the Little Sisters or fail to adequately show the consequences of harvesting the Little Sisters, not Bioshock. Remove the Little Sisters entirely, not Bioshock. Remove the Big Daddys, not Bioshock. Remove the injection of EVE (teh bad bad "drugs") into the protagonists arm, not Bioshock. Remove the bastard chimera splicers, not Bioshock.

There is a real danger that, while chasing a rating, so much of what made Bioshock "Bioshock", would be removed, and you'll be left with something that no fan of the game will ever want to see.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220164)

Batman is not unambiguously good. He does bad things to bad people, but that's an "ends justify the means" mentality. Any and all tools are employed in order to bring the bad guy down, regardless of the legality of the action. Yes, red tape may be all that stands in the way of bringing down the "bad guy" legally, but Batman doesn't cut through the red tape. Batman charges head first, guns (metaphorically) blazing in order to utterly decimate the criminal underworld. Batman is morally ambiguous, a personification of lynch mob justice.

His "one rule" of not killing anyone (going by TDK only here) gives him the leeway in morality which Alfred talks about in the scene where he talks about his past, working to defend against rebel tribes attacking convoys. Those "evil" aggressors would attack gem convoys just for the sport, and his solution was to "burn the forest to the ground". Batman is very much the same; Scorched Earth is his methodology, and as such he can't be seen as unambiguously good.

If I was to give Batman a D&D alignment, it would definitely be Chaotic Good. His methods are absolutely questionable, sometimes.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220190)

Apologies for replying to myself; Wikipedia for D&D Alignments lists Batman as "Lawful Good". I disagree, as he is frequently outside of the law in his actions. He is guided by his own moral compass, which is inarguably favoured towards "good", but lawful? I don't see it.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220294)

in D&D term, lawful is someone who follows _A_ set of rules in their actions. Not necessarly the commonly accepted one. Batman doesn't betray his friends, and when kicking the ass of evil people, follows a pretty strict code in what he considers ok or not.

Thats why he can be seen as lawful.

In French D&D, because of a lack of direct translation to the term lawful, they use the term "loyal", if I remember well. It makes it easier to wrap your head around the concept, IMO.

Re:The Dark Knight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220638)

Batman would be lawful good. He follows an extremely rigid set of moral codes and is a representative a pure order.

The Joker is a representative of pure chaos and follows no code at all.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220262)

Even the game copped out to some extent by making it (eventually) pay off more to not harvest the sisters (via gifts they give you towards the end of the game). A really much tougher choice would be to punish the player more for not harvesting, so that the morally good path is much more difficult (y'know, largely like real life). Otherwise I agree with your point entirely - even the basic gameplay mechanic, whether you play it "good" or "evil", boils down to "genetically engineered assassin kills off the mentally ill", which is always going to struggle to play as a teen movie.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220622)

Thank you! I needed a succinct summary of Bioshock and that's the best I've seen.

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220692)

Excellent post, agree with pretty much everything you say. Getting a PG-13 rating would have meant compromising a lot, and in the end, probably would have meant no Little Sisters, which are the core of the current Rapture ecosystem. If they had the Little Sisters, then to even sniff PG-13 they would have had to have the main character uncompromisingly "good".

Re:The Dark Knight (1)

Mystiq (101361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220926)

There is a real danger that, while chasing a rating, so much of what made Bioshock "Bioshock", would be removed, and you'll be left with something that no fan of the game will ever want to see.

You mean essentially what happened to the Doom movie with the whole "so let's make it a virus, not an actual demon infestation. Oh snap, now it's another Resident Evil, and that did so well!" and needless pandering to an audience.

The movie deserved to explore themes touched on in the game. The story is more The Matrix and Star Trek than Resident Evil, fear of what's out there, stopping when you should and what happens when science ignores morals. Gibbing the whole point of the plot (even though they didn't even bother to exploit this much in the game) destroyed any chance the movie had at being good.

Which happens all too often in games turned movies.

I really didn't enjoy the scene where what's-his-face didn't turn into a monster because he wasn't "evil on the inside." The Hell plot would have taken longer to pan out. Let it. It was cool to see the monsters from the game done with slightly better CGI but that was the only draw. If they spent the time they did coming up with a new angle to the monsters and just working with the source material... I mean, didn't id Software hire a professional author to come write the game's plot?

Open source it! (1)

EdgeyEdgey (1172665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219074)

Put the screenplay online. Build up the storyboard as a wiki. Get some volunteers to build the CGI underwater world. Unknown actors in the parts. Donations of movie equipment. etc.

If people need paying then offer them a share of any distribution deals that come out at the end.

Oh, if this does happen then let me know as I would happily have a bash at the score.

Re:Open source it! (5, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219188)

Cool, will put you down for that. I'm going to start a website on geocities and get this ball rolling. Anyone know HTML?

Re:Open source it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219928)

Please someone mod parent up...

I have some semi-pro/high-end consumer equipment and I can't count how many times people have come up to me saying, "I have this great idea. You do the work. You provide the equipment. You provide the talent. We'll share the profit."

Same thing when I tell people that I write code for a living. "I have this great idea. You do the work. We'll share the profit."

Re:Open source it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220120)

"I've got a great idea. It's like [Facebook|Twitter|Angry Birds] but instead of [poking|140 character limit|birds] you have [*other sexual euphemism*|unlimited number of characters|cats]. It'll make us both billionaires! "

Uwe Boll (2, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219156)

Uwe Boll!
Uwe Boll!
Uwe Boll!

(at very least, they could've adopted his tactics to get funding)

Re:Uwe Boll (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220396)

I was thinking the exact same thing.

Put Uwe Boll's name on it, and money will appear out of nowhere. It's almost magical, which isn't surprising, since Uwe is one of the Three Brothers [collectedcurios.com] .

bioshock losers that cant do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219222)

yup watch as they now go down the slope

MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219236)

Fuck'em

Remember the Wolverine Movie? (1)

niBee (1936934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35219626)

who here believes that it would do better if it was rated M?

mpaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220050)

Does anyone know why anyone still bothers to enforce those ratings? If the theaters are so about money why care.

Re:mpaa? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220282)

It's a valid question - since so many kids manage to get hold of and play the games even with a mature rating. Is it really more damaging for a kid to watch a movie about a guy killing his way through an underwater world than to play a game where he is the guy killing his way through said world? Or is it all about difficulty of policing one versus the other?

Get Nolan to finance it (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220106)

Christopher Nolan probably still has a couple of blank cheques from Warner Brothers lying about.

Artistic Integrity (3, Interesting)

organgtool (966989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220316)

Good for this guy. Better to make nothing at all than release a watered-down piece of shit just to get a PG-13 rating and make the studios happy. All that would do is ruin the reputation of the Bioshock name.

I wish other people in the movie business had the same level of integrity as this guy. I have seen too many adult-themed movies get released that are butchered because they had to go for a PG-13 rating. I wouldn't waste my time watching that tripe even if it didn't cost me any money.

As others have mentioned, this guy should really set up a PayPal account and produce the movie independently. I would gladly donate money for such a project so long as I was promised that the content of the movie would remain as graphic as necessary to properly maintain the themes of the Bioshock story.

That's ok Gore (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220324)

Your previous crap still has me scared witless, so you don't have to make any more!

Underwater world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220776)

Why would the price tag be so high for creating the underwater world? Is he determined not to use CGI environments?

Make Two (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220876)

If the budget problems are really the sets. Why not just shoot a R and PG-13 on the same sets? That way they could really see which one made more money too.
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