Seventeen months ago while I was searching through bin bags full of perfectly serviceable Poncho’s Special Marinaded Burrito Beef in the alleyway behind my local Poncho’s, I overheard a conversation between two movie executives in nice suits.
“Here’s the big script for the new BioShock film that we’re workin’ on,” said the first executive, chomping on a cigar. From my hiding place in the bin I could hear the executive hand the papers to his colleague. Ahah, this Poncho must share its bins with Sony Pictures, I quietly surmised as the second executive carefully perused the document.
“Crapola!” the second man shouted at last. I would know that voice anywhere; this executive was not a movie producer but none other than Irrational Games’ Ken Levine. “I don’t like this movie script one bit and I’m throwing it in the bin. Now, I don’t know which bin belongs to Sony Pictures but I assume it’s the one that stinks of all the beef.”
And that, dear reader, is how I came to own one of the early drafts for the new BioShock film. Here, as a teaser, are the first three scenes.
SCENE ONE: INT - BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN
Andrew Ryan is sitting in his underwater office. On his desk there is a statuette of a bald eagle holding a hammer and sickle while being strangled by Uncle Sam. Behind him there is an oil painting that perfectly encapsulates some of the most basic philosophies of socialism. Ryan leans back in his chair, appearing satisfied before lurching forwards and impatiently pressing an intercom buzzer on his desk.
Yes Mister Ryan?
Sandra, bring me in some more metaphors please. And don’t skimp on the symbolism this time, that last batch hardly touched on the dichotomy of elitism and ego.
Of course Mister Ryan.
Trolleys and trolleys of clever analogies and social commentaries are wheeled into Ryan’s office. Among the metaphorical imagery we see a figurine of a Wall Street fat cat wearing a pope’s hat. Another trolley holds a diorama of a dog in a Ronald McDonald mask farting on a piece of paper with the words “hard working Americans” written on it. Now there is no room left in the office. Ryan finally looks pleased.
I’m the cleverest man alive.
SCENE TWO: INT - AN AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA
Long range sensors are going doohicky doolally. What on earth is up with our aeroplane?
Hmm, radar is showing a collection of strange metallic structures deep beneath the ocean waves. Could it be? An underwater city?
Don’t be preposterous, there’s no such thing as an--
The pilot is interrupted as the aeroplane’s cockpit door is booted open by a mysterious man in a cool fedora and a leather bomber jacket. In one hand he’s holding an uzi and in the other, a mysterious glowing orb.
What the… who the jeff are you? Passengers aren’t allowed up here!
There’s no time to explain, I have to get this BioShock back to the underwater city of Rapture before it’s too late, and your aeroplane is my only ticket to the briny depths.
PILOT ONE (DEFIANTLY)
Like hell it is!
The pilot lunges towards the mysterious man, who dodges out of the way and shoots him in the head and torso with his uzi. Blood goes everywhere and it’s so cool. As the body of the first pilot slumps to the floor, the second pilot does a flying kick at the mysterious man’s face. The man grabs the pilot’s foot in mid-air and they do karate moves for ages and ages. Eventually the second pilot is dead too, from lethal martial arts. An air hostess flounces into the cockpit as the aeroplane begins to nosedive towards the sea.
Take the wheel, toots, we’re dunking this turkey. The fate of the entire planet depends on it.
The air hostess dutifully slips into the co-pilot’s seat as the mysterious man takes the wheel and slowly throttles up. The aeroplane rockets towards the ocean’s surface, faster and faster as the pitch of the roaring engine rises.
I don’t know you, or fully understand why I’m helping you crash this aeroplane into the sea, but I sure as heck hope you know what you’re doing.
Me too, lady, me too. Say, what’s your name?
Elizabeth. The name’s Elizabeth. You?
People call me Booker. Booker DeWitt.
Cut to external shot of the aeroplane plunging into the freezing ocean and speeding, bullet-like and in one single, intact piece, through the watery depths and towards the darkness below. The orbish glow of the BioShock can be seen through the cockpit windows, an eerie bronze light illuminating the way to the aeroplane’s final destination. The underwater utopia of Rapture.
SCENE THREE: INT - RAPTURE MAIN CONTROL ROOM
Andrew Ryan stands in front of a vast machine. Pipes and valves chug and guff while plumes of hot steam spurt seemingly randomly from assorted vents. Doctor Suchong stands beside Ryan, explaining the functions of the machine. One wall of this room is entirely made of glass, giving the pair a lovely view of the majestic ocean floor. There’s a whale and everything.
As I was saying, this very important contraption controls all of Rapture and allows you to command your army of mutant splicers that you plan to take over the entire planet with.
Excellent, that’s perfect really. Exactly what I was after. Are there any weaknesses or vulnerabilities I should know about?
Just the one.
Suchong gestures to a well illuminated, orb-shaped hole on the side of the machine, about three feet from the floor.
If anybody ever stuck a BioShock in this hole, the entire machine would self destruct, destroying Rapture and your splicer army along with it. Come to think of it, we could plug the hole up with something so that--
No no, there's no point. The chances of somebody ever sticking a BioShock into that hole are… wait, what’s that sound? It sounds like a sinking aeroplane, with a BioShock in it, and it’s coming this way!
The nose of Booker and Elizabeth’s aeroplane erupts through the wall of the control room in an explosive shower of glass shards and seawater. Elizabeth leaps from the vehicle unfazed, landing effortlessly in the splits position.
She’s followed closely by Booker, who ejects from the aeroplane cockpit with a double somersault, landing next to Elizabeth. They both strike a triumphant pose, and now they can fire crows from their hands for some reason.
Would you kindly eat a wet bag of underwater schlongs, you giant racist.