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4 things we want to see in Netflix's 'Bioshock' movie
Grant our humble requests and we'd be in Rapture.
After many years of being in and out of development hell, the time has come for the landmark gaming saga of BioShock to be turned into a movie. Netflix is partnering with Take-Two Interactive to develop what is described as "a potential cinematic universe" according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fans of the game series (which first released in 2007) are likely very happy. The series comprises three titles: BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite. The first two games took place in the underwater city of Rapture, while the third game took to the skies in the steampunk city of Columbia. There's no word yet on what choices the streaming giant will make, but partnering with Take-Two (the publishers of the games) makes us think that whatever they do will have some manner of fidelity to the source material.
If a first attempt is successful, then the aforementioned "cinematic universe" could certainly be born. Once The Witcher was a hit, Netflix went ahead and greenlit a prequel series as well as animated spin-offs (along with a new season). The world of BioShock is rich enough for all of this to happen, but we're not putting all of our ADAM in that basket. If a potential BioShock movie doesn't light up the chart, then one movie is all we're going to get. Such is the way of Netflix.
If there's only one EVE shot, then we have some major wishes about what we'd want that shot to include.
What a surprise! The main reason that we're excited for a BioShock adaptation is so we can see Andrew Ryan's art-deco underwater city. The famous setting for the first two games is one of the most beautiful locations in gaming history, and seeing it fully realized as the location for a piece of cinema would be... rapture.
We love Columbia, but if we have one shot to rock here, then Rapture is where we'd choose to be. It is iconic for gamers, and viewers who know nothing about the series will be given a world that is utterly unlike anything else. The 50's-60's designs all being underwater is unforgettable, and horrifying.
If the movie is looking to be as frightening and claustrophobic as the first two games often are, then this is the location to pick. Eerie record sounds, fully-crazed residents, and darkened corners abound... as do half-baked retro vending machines.
Big Daddies and Little Sisters
Another shocker. Yes, we'd love the iconic Big Daddies and Little Sisters to be in the movie. The Big Daddy alone is an incredibly recognizable character, and even those who have never played the games may recognize the design.
The relationship between the abused Sisters and the Big Daddies is what we'd really like to see, though. BioShock 2 goes into all of it a lot more than the previous game, to the point where the player character is a Big Daddy named "Subject Delta." His relationship with Eleanor Lamb is the foundation of the sequel's story.
With the Little Sisters, there is potential for both horror and tragedy. The same is true of the Big Daddies. The opportunities for incredible action scenes are endless, as are the many ways the movie can use these characters to pull at our emotions.
Rapture is mostly experienced as a place that is past its prime. That doesn't take away from its beauty, it adds to it. The player only sees remnants of the city that Ayn Rand devotee Andrew Ryan built.
Every now and then, players will get an intentionally shoddy video recording of Rapture in its heyday. There are brief moments in BioShock 2 where the player is within the body of a Little Sister, and the full opulence of the place is seen. Though our hearts are obviously with Rapture after the fall, we wouldn't mind seeing the location as it was when it was first created.
A side effect of this is that we would be able to meet characters that the player only experiences through recordings. It's an important aspect of the games, and it is brilliantly done. A movie would allow things to go further; we'd be able to full-on see the characters that are only heard in the games.
Though some of them are briefly seen in the games, actors playing characters like Andrew Ryan and Sofia Lamb in live-action would be a thrill. Eleanor Lamb would work either way, and if the movie wanted to entirely focus on her, we'd be happy with it.
The series is loaded with difficult ethical choices, and many of them affect what ending the player gets. If you "adopt" Little Sisters along the way, you get one ending. If you "harvest" them, you get another. The games make it clear that "harvesting" is the wrong ethical choice, but the halls of Rapture are dark and deep, and players have miles to run before they sleep.
Rapture itself is littered with recordings of characters that either made bad choices and defend them, or made bad choices and are wanting to make amends. Some of them defend their awful behavior to the end, and some of them try to make things right. Rapture existing in the first place is a murky notion. The player is challenged with all kinds of ethical quandaries, and we'd want ourselves as viewers to be faced with them as well.
We obviously won't be able to choose which path to go down, the movie will have a set story and we'll be watching someone else (presumably the protagonist of the first game, Eleanor Lamb, or Delta) face facts. Even if we're not in the driver's seat, BioShock can still present a ton of ethical dilemmas. It is what great science-fiction does, and even though the BioShock games are great first-person shooters, the real magic is found in the philosophies embedded in the tales. We'd definitely hope that any movie based on the games would have the same backbone.
The people who are doing the developing could do all of this, or none of this. Here's hoping that none of their muses are "a fickle b***h with a very short attention span." That line is said in the first game by Sander Cohen, and if we had one additional wish then he'd be on this list.