GTA movie has been pitched “many times,” says Rockstar co-founder. Money offered not “worth risking.”
A video game film adaptation of the Grand Theft Auto franchise has “been offered, many times, and it’s never appealed,” said Rockstar Games co-founder, Dan Houser in a recent interview with The Guardian. And while the notion of GTA on the big screen might sound good on paper, Houser’s Hollywood experiences have always led him back to interactive entertainment.
“Our small dabblings with Hollywood have always left us running back to games,” Houser said. “The money’s never been close to be worth risking one’s crown.” Considering the long list of lackluster video game inspired films, we don’t blame him. Doom, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros. come to mind. It’s also important to note that the quintessential hook of GTA lies within the sandbox freedom, which is impossible to properly portray in film.
“The freedom we have to do what we want creatively is of enormous value,” Houser stated. “The second you go near Hollywood, people seem willing, or have been forced, to lose a lot of that control.” Unless you’re funding a movie project independently, it’s standard to turn over creative control to the supporting production studio.
While the Rockstar boss remains open to the possibility of a future film adaptation, he still exercises caution, “there’s still plenty of kudos in doing a film, but you shouldn’t ever do anything in your life for kudos. It’s much easier to imagine GTA as a TV series, as the form is closer, but I still think we’d be losing too much to ever actually do it.”
Looking ahead, Houser is more than validated to bide his time before green lighting a Grand Theft Auto movie. Personally, we’d rather wait and see it done right than see them churn out a film now where the only recognizable feature is the title.