Today’s economy is hurting everyone, including the inhabitants of Rapture, the fictional dystopian underwater city from Take-Two Interactive’s awesome game, “Bioshock.” Set to be directed and produced by “Pirates” director Gore Verbinski, “Bioshock” is hitting the brakes after Universal decided the projected budget of $160 million was too much.

The picture was in pre-production, but the studio has halted that effort — and let some production staff go — as Universal and Verbinski figure out a way to make the film on a less costly budget.

The John Logan-scripted picture was gearing up to shoot in Los Angeles, but that changed when the budget rose to about $160 million. U and Verbinski are looking at alternatives, such as shooting in London, as a way to pare costs.

“We were asked by Universal to move the film outside the U.S. to take advantage of a tax credit,” Verbinski said. “We are evaluating whether this is something we want to do. In the meantime, the film is in a holding pattern.”

I loved the game and am sure there are tons of fans out there, but $160 million does sound a little high for a videogame movie. Hopefully they’ll work out the issues and get this back on track. If they need to go film it in Mexico it shouldn’t make a bit of difference considering no one has an underwater city readily available for filming.

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