Gore Verbinski Is Off Bioshock

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is on (probably)

We told you a couple of months ago that Gore Verbinski might quit the videogame adaptation Bioshock over budget and location concerns. That sad eventuality has now come to pass, with Variety reporting that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in talks to take over. Verbinski will remain as a producer.

Bioshock's mad art-deco steampunk underwater designs were always going to require a hefty chunk of budget if the film was to match the game for spectacle, but the studio Universal were apparently concerned that projected costs were already north of $160m.

The decision to save cash by filming abroad forces Verbinski to bow out, since he's contractually stuck on home turf directing the animated Rango for Paramount.

Fresnadillo made his Hollywood debut writing and directing 28 Weeks Later, but his attachment to Bioshock makes more sense in the light of his Spanish film Intacto, and his work producing films for the likes of Alejandro Amenabar and Julio Medem.

The game has its share of action, obviously (it's a shooter, after all) but is based around some intriguing Ayn Rand-inspired anti-Utopian ideas. Plenty for a director with a philosphical bent to sink his teeth into. Fresnadillo's getting the gig is dependent on the approval of game producers Take Two, but he surely won't have to fight too hard.