Universal wants more Gore

Studio adds to stable as Verbinski signs three-year first-look deal

Gore Verbinski and his Blind Wink Prods. have signed a three-year first-look deal with Universal.

The director, best known for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, already has a project set up at the studio, the video game adaptation "BioShock." "BioShock" will serve as Verbinski's first movie out of the gate that he will produce and direct. The special effects-heavy tentpole, written by John Logan, is set in the mysterious underwater utopia Rapture.

"Gore has a innate sense of what thrills and entertains audiences around the world, an unmatched ability to navigate genres and talent that elevates any film he's on with peerless imagination and craftsmanship," Universal co-chairman David Linde said. "He resides among a very rare class of filmmaker and is coming to Universal at a time when every conceivable option in the industry was available to him."

Verbinski said he hoped the deal would kick his productivity up a few notches and hoped to build a brand with it.

"We are at a confluence of media in all its forms, and I am eager to create a company that will navigate and participate in this evolution," he said.

The deal adds another filmmaker to Universal's portfolio of creative folk. The studio has first-look deals with such helmers as Guillermo del Toro, Timur Bekmambetov and Peter Berg and producers like Brian Grazer. In March, it signed a deal with comic book company Dark Horse Entertainment. (partialdiff)