Why There Will Never Be a ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Movie
There is no successful franchise that Hollywood won’t try to exploit (see: almost every single summer movie), so it’s always seemed a little weird that one of the biggest franchises out there – Rockstar’s ‘Grand Theft Auto‘ – has yet to make the leap to the big screen. Well, it’s not for a lack of trying, but Hollywood can try all it wants: there will never be a ‘Grand Theft Auto’ movie.
As ‘GTA V’ hits stores on September 17, the series’ creator, Dan Houser, told The Guardian that while they’ve fielded many offers for a ‘Grand Theft Auto’ movie, they’ve turned them all down.
We’ve been offered, many times, and it’s never appealed. 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.
With a cost of over $265 million and projected first-week earnings of over $500 million for ‘GTA V,’ the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ franchise is insanely successful in its own right and doesn’t need to take the risk of a potentially crappy movie. And, if we’re being honest, has there ever been a movie adapted from a video game that has been anything but just mediocre?
In 2008, when ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ hit stores, Hollywood was terrified that its release date would dampen the opening box-office for ‘Iron Man’ (neither, as it turns out, had anything to worry about). So, while Hollywood would certainly like a piece of that ‘Grand Theft Auto’ action, Rockstar wisely isn’t looking to leverage any of their critical or commercial success on a potentially subpar movie. It’s the exact same philosophy that sank the once-planned ‘Halo’ movie.
Houser later adds that, if anything, he could see ‘Grand Theft Auto’ becoming a TV series, but adds, “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?”
If only the creators of ‘Doom’ had said the same thing.