The “Grand Theft Auto” franchise has been a wildly successful one. The latest installment, “GTA V” coming Sep. 17, is expected to follow in the high grossing tradition. With such success it’s not surprising to hear that creator Rockstar Games has been approached to make a movie adaptation of GTA.
Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser revealed that the studio has ” . . .been offered, many times . . .” an opportunity to make a “GTA” movie. But before GTA fans get too excited at the prospect Houser quickly expresses, “ . . .it’s never appealed.” It looks like there won’t be a GTA film made anytime soon.
The co-founder explains the studios disinterest in Hollywood’s offers, ‘The money’s never been close to be worth risking one’s crown jewels. Our small dabblings with Hollywood have always left us running back to games. The freedom we have to do what we want creatively is of enormous value. The second you go near Hollywood, people seem willing, or have been forced, to lose a lot of that control. That sort of amorphous ‘that won’t test well’ attitude is exactly how we don’t work. We've always tried to think of stuff that’s innovative and new, and to go into a world where that’s not encouraged would be horrible,”
Although a feature film is out of the question for Rockstar’s prized franchise Houser admits that a television show would be a better medium for the GTA subject matter. Again quell any burbling geek-citement that may be about to burst forth at the idea of a GTA TV show. Houser doesn't seem to think that a TV show would be worth the time and money, at least not right now.
He explains, “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. We’ve got this big open-world experience that’s 100 hours long, and that gives players control over what they do, what they see, and how they see it ,
“A world where you can do everything from rob a bank to take a yoga lesson to watch TV, all in your own time. How do you condense that into a two-hour or 12-hour experience where you take away the main things: player agency and freedom? We love games and we think we've got something to say in games, and that games have plenty to say. So shouldn't we just continue doing that?”
While a film or TV series based on one of gaming’s most enjoyable and beloved franchises seems awesome it’s refreshing to hear someone actually say no to Hollywood’s bright lights and promises of fame and fortune. Most video game translations to film and television have been lackluster. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to one form of media if it’s done right instead of stretching into other forms to make as much money among as many demographics as possible. ‘GTA V” will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on Sep. 17.