Ken Levine had the final say in pulling the plug on the in-production BioShock film, citing an unwillingness to the see it completed in "a way [he] didn't think was right," reports Edge Online.
Speaking at a BAFTA event held in London yesterday, Levine said then-director Gore Verbinski left over disagreements regarding budget changes proposed by Universal Studios — bringing the original $200 million budget down to $80 million.
"What happened was — this is my theory — it's a very big movie and Gore was very excited about it and he wanted to make a very dark, what he would call a ‘hard-rated' horror film — an R rated film with a lot of blood," Levine said. "Then The Watchmen came out — and I really liked The Watchmen — but it didn't do well for whatever reason and the studio got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film."
Levine said "enough time had gone by" that Verbinski turned down proceeding on the new budget, and he "didn't see a match" with the replacement director brought on by Universal.
"Take Two is one of those companies that gives a lot of trust to their creative people and so they said to me, ‘if you want to kill it Ken, kill it,'" Levine said. "And I killed it.
"Which was weird, having been a screenwriter going around begging to re-write any script to being in a position where you're killing a movie that you worked so much on," he added. "It was saying, 'You know what? I don't need to compromise.' I had the [Bioshock] world, and I didn't what to see it done in a way I didn't think was right."
Levine latest project, BioShock Infinite, launches on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC March 26.