Bioshock Netflix Movie Release, News & Everything We Know

By Klein Felt Posted:
BioShock imagery, Netflix logo

Fans are itching for any sort of release news about the upcoming BioShock movie adaptation.

Based on the beloved video game world created by Irrational Games, BioShock is set to take viewers below the sea to an underworld utopia gone wrong. 

The original BioShock game was released in 2006 on Xbox 360 before eventually coming to PlayStation 3. Since then, two sequels have been released (BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite), with the series becoming known as some of the best video game stories in the medium.  

When Will the BioShock Movie Be Released?

Bioshock Big Daddy and Little Sister key art
Irrational Games

A BioShock movie is on the way, set to adapt the world of the hit video game franchise; however, when it will be released remains a mystery. 

A BioShock film adaptation has been something fans have wanted since the game came out. 

Originally a BioShock movie was in the works at Universal Studios. Announced in 2009, the Universal take on the movie was set to have Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski heading up the film. 

The Verbinski adaptation was initially announced as an expected release sometime in late 2010; however, that version of the film would never see the light of day. 

Verbinski's BioShock got as far as pre-production, with work being done on it as late as summer 2010. The movie would then go silent for several years, with Irrational Games CEO Ken Lavigne revealing in 2013 the film had been cancelled. 

Lavigne cited the movie's $200 million budget and R-rating as the reason the studio eventually abandoned it, pointing to the failure of Zack Snyder's Watchmen as something Universal used to justify the cancellation.

Not all hope was lost though. After nearly a decade of silence on the project, the BioShock movie would get picked up again, this time with the help of Netflix

As announced in February 2022, the streamer revealed a live-action BioShock film was on the way with Francis Lawrence set to direct and Michael Green writing the script (read more about the Netflix BioShock announcement here). 

The last fans heard of the Lawrence-Green BioShock film, it was noted a new draft of the script was being penned by the two creatives in October 2023. 

If a script can be locked down sometime in the coming months, then release information could be not too far away. Typically, Netflix likes to keep its exact release timing close to its vest, but a release window could be made public sometime soon. 

It would not be all that surprising if during one of the streaming giant's several events throughout the year (i.e. Geeked Week) more BioShock information were to make its way out. 

This could include potential casting news, as well as a possible production start date for the movie. 

If the movie were to get in front of cameras by the end of 2024 or early 2025, then a possible release somewhere between 12 and 18 months later seems likely. However, given the VFX-heavy nature of a title like BioShock, that date could be pushed even further. 

That would put a supposed release for the movie sometime between early 2026 and mid-to-late 2027. 

Who Is Behind the BioShock Movie

The underwater city of Rapture from Bioshock
Irrational Games

The Netflix BioShock movie is being written by Michael Green and Francis Lawrence, with Lawrence also taking on directing duties.

Green most prominently has writing credits on big-screen blockbusters like Blade Runner 2049, Marvel's Logan, and Alien: Covenant. He also most recently worked as one of the writers on Netflix's critically acclaimed anime, Blue Eye Samurai

As for Lawrence, he is best known for working as the director on Will Smith's I Am Legend and the Keanu Reeves-led Constantine film. 

Fans may also recognize Lawrence's name from the Hunger Games franchise, in which he directed four movies including 2023's The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Lawrence has three upcoming movies in pre-production, I Am Legend 2, Constantine 2, and BioShock.

It remains unknown which project will be the first the filmmaker will tackle, but many have assumed it will be BioShock

Where Will the BioShock Movie Be Streaming?

A player using lightning powers on a welding mask-adorned enemy in Bioshock
Irrational Games

One can assume given Netflix is the studio behind the upcoming BioShock film, that the movie will arrive on the streaming service. 

Whether it comes to theaters in addition to the streamer remains unlikely. 

Netflix has only released a select few films in theaters, and when it has it has been in select theaters as a limited release. 

That means fans itching to see a BioShock movie on the big screen will likely be left disappointed. 

What Will Happen in the BioShock Movie?

Bioshock art featuring the underwater city of Rapture
Irrational Games

No plot specifics for the BioShock movie have been made public; however, it is assumed the film will tackle the events of the series' first game release in 2006. 

According to BioShock movie director Francis Lawrence, the film is based on "game one," and the team is trying to stay "very true to a lot of it" (per ScreenRant):

"Oh, we have some new little bits in there, yes. I mean, the truth is it's game one, so we're being very true to a lot of it, right? So, we're not breaking canon in any way. But we do have some new little twists that will surprise fans, but that all fit in. We have a really good script, I'm really excited about it."

That means fans can expect the film to follow a weary traveler named Jack as he stumbles upon the once-great underwater utopia, Rapture following an 'accidental' plane crash. 

As Jack navigates this forgotten turn-of-the-century metropolis and begins interacting with some of the remaining residents of Rapture including the mysterious Atlas, the city's founder Andrew Ryan, and the terrifying armored Big Daddys, he begins to realize the plane crash that led him to the city may not have been accidental at all.

While Lawrence teased some "new little twists" for fans in the film adaptation, the movie will likely stick fairly close to the plot of the original game given how beloved the source material is. 

The BioShock movie has no public release date. 

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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.