4YE Quick Lists: Let’s Fan Cast BioShock

Credit: Irrational Games
Credit: Irrational Games

BioShock is quite possibly the most seminal piece of console gaming ever created. Its creation has spawned two sequels, one of which has become one of the highest rated games in recent history. (Yes, I’m talking about BioShock: Infinite.) As a whole, the BioShock franchise is original, fresh, beautifully crafted with a wonderful story and characters that have influenced multiple different games since its release in 2007.

A potential film was optioned back in 2009, but nothing came to fruition. I’ve previously written an article detailing my want for a film. However, after much internal debate, I’d like to change my mind about a movie. I personally think the game would prosper over at HBO or Netflix in the form of either a mini-series or a full fledged television show. This format would allow more exposition and a deeper dive into the characters and the setting of Rapture. It’s working for Game of Thrones, who’s to say it wouldn’t work for a game? Allowing it to be produced in this vein would definitely beat a movie any day. Plus, Netflix or HBO wouldn’t mind the end product being a bloody, violent, vile mess. Just saying.

BioShock has received a remaster and it’s a thing of beauty. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. To celebrate the release, on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 13, I am presenting my fan cast for the potential film or TV series. Hold on tight, ya’ll. It’s about to go down.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS. Don’t read any further if you’ve not played the game.

Atlas/Frank Fontaine

I really struggled with this one. I’ve seen a lot of people put Mark Strong in the dual role of Frank Fontaine and his alter ego Atlas. While I like the idea of Strong being Fontaine, I just can’t see him with hair. Call it superficial, but, seriously. A Mark Strong with hair is like… a Peter Capaldi with no hair. It just doesn’t work. At. All.

I’ve also seen people putting Tom Hardy in the role. I can get behind that, however, I think I will go a bit different and put James McAvoy as our antagonist. Call me crazy but McAvoy has it all. He’s great at accents. He looks completely different with a shaved head and, again, call me crazy, but I want Atlas to have this epic beard. Okay? And red hair. Plus, the dude can act. I love McAvoy and past the matters of vanity, I think he would kill as the characters. Seriously.

For those uninitiated, Frank Fontaine was the main antagonist when Andrew Ryan was creating his underwater utopia. It was he who started the war. Fontaine then faked his own death and became Atlas and, well, Atlas isn’t much better than Fontaine, let’s put it that way.

J. S. Steinman

I think this one is unanimous. Almost every fan cast I’ve came across has put Michael Fassbender in the role of Steinman. Perhaps it’s his ability to go absolutely batshit crazy and act his heart out. As the murderous, crazed plastic surgeon of Rapture, I think Fassbender would be completely unhinged and out of this world.

Jack Wyland (aka Jack Ryan)

Jack is our faceless protagonist of the game so literally anyone could effectively play him. However, our favorite wrench wielder should be played by Armie Hammer.

The only exposure I have to Hammer is from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but his role as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin just shows the amount of kick ass he has the ability to portray. He can be stoic, sympathetic, unhinged, and a morally ambiguous character. Of course, in that vein, Jack will have to be more fleshed out in the TV show and I have no doubt that Hammer would be able to handle it. Plus, I wouldn’t mind a bit of eye candy to stare at.

Brigid Tenenbaum

I cheated a little on this graphic. I couldn’t find a good pic of Tenenbaum so I used the actress they based her audio diary picture on for comparison.

Brigid is a German scientist who was recruited to come to Rapture by Andrew Ryan. Once she arrived in Rapture, she discovered a sea slug that could rewrite the people’s DNA and give them extraordinary powers. In essence, Brigid may have contributed to Rapture’s downfall. The ADAM and EVE she derived from the sea slugs were highly addictive which lead to splicing. The splicers are… a tiny bit unhinged. That’s putting it quite lightly.

I chose Hayley Atwell for Brigid for both aesthetic reasons and acting ability. As Peggy Carter, she definitely fits the look. There’s no doubt about that. However, I know she will be able to handle Brigid’s morality and her nuance with ease. There is a lot to discover about Brigid as the game progresses and I have no doubt that a TV show will delve even deeper.

Sander Cohen

Oh, Sander Cohen, let me count the ways I love your deranged little self. God, this man is an asshole and is completely sadistic and unhinged. Who else could portray him but my favorite villainous actor Willem Defoe?!

So many people put Andrew Scott in this role but I’ve already cast a few characters too young so I decided to move closer to the source and cast an older man to portray the older character. Cohen isn’t young. (Though if he was, Scott would be a shoe in.) Defoe is versatile. He looks deranged and I have no doubt he can act deranged. There is no redeeming Cohen so we need someone who can play this flamboyant serial killer convincingly and I think Dafoe has the look and the ability.

Yi Suchong

Every character in this game is either morally ambiguous or they’re completely murderous and psychopathic. Suchong lands on the ambiguous spectrum but he, too, is ruthless. As the scientist who helped Tenenbaum create the Little Sisters and the Big Daddys, Suchong is questionable. He’s effective but questionable. He engineers Jack to age quickly and be a murderous machine, all hinged around the trigger phrase, ‘Would You Kindly’. He made a baby Jack kill his new puppy. That’s how sadistic he is.

Ken Watanabe doesn’t quite fit the look of Suchong but I’m not familiar with many Asian actors and I absolutely adored him in Inception so I thought he would make a good fit. Plus, I’d love to see him play a villain. That’s a good enough reason, right?

Andrew Ryan

I found an old fan cast of mine from years ago and Ryan is the only one who hadn’t changed in six years. Clive Owen is and always will be my Andrew Ryan. Period. He has the look and the acting chops to pull it off. I mean, look at that picture. The resemblance is eerie.

Do I think Owen can pull it off as the big bad in a BioShock TV show? Absolutely! The man is killing it in The Knick over on Showtime. He has fantastic range and I just want to hear his silky smooth voice broadcasting propaganda throughout the whole series. Is that a good enough reason to cast someone? Definitely.

Bonus! Here are my choices for Robert and Rosalind Lutece from BioShock: Infinite.


I haven’t played Infinite yet but Jude Law and Kelly Reilly have always and will always be my choice for the Lutece twins. Mostly they were chosen for their resemblance to the characters, but they were also chosen for their acting prowess. Not to mention they have great chemistry.

What did you think of my fan cast? Sound off in the comments or on our Twitter feed. I’d love to hear from you!

Shelby Arnold
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