Irrational Games' creative director Ken Levine revealed that he was the one who personally pulled the plug on the project, due to a number of circumstances, including the box office failure of Watchmen.
"There was a deal in place, and it was in production at Universal - Gore Verbinski was directing it. My theory is that Gore wanted to make a hard R film - which is like a 17/18 plus, where you can have blood and naked girls. Well, I don't think he wanted naked girls. But he wanted a lot of blood. Then Watchmen came out, and it didn't do well for whatever reason. The studio then got cold feet about making an R rated $200 million film, and they said what if it was a $80 million film - and Gore didn't want to make a $80 million film. They brought another director in, and I didn't really see the match there - and 2K's one of these companies that puts a lot of creative trust in people. So they said if you want to kill it, kill it. And I killed it."
Before working at Irrational Games, Ken Levine was a screenwriter in Hollywood. The writer-turned-executive talked about the strange dynamic of working on different sides of the business, while still holding on to a glimmer of hope that the stars may align some day and bring Bioshock to the silver screen.
"It was weird, as having been a screenwriter, begging to do anything, and then killing a movie on something you'd worked on so much. It was saying I don't need to compromise - how many times in life do you not need to compromise? It comes along so rarely, but I had the world, the world existed and I didn't want to see it done in a way that I didn't think was right. It may happen one day, who knows, but it'd have to be the right combination of people."