A GTA Hollywood movie was once turned down by president of Rockstar Games Sam Houser.
The information was revealed by Kirk Ewing on the BBC Sounds podcast Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game, in which the rapper talks about the impacts the GTA series had on him.
The podcast also contains a rundown of the series’ history, presented by Chris Warburton.
In episode two, Warburton spoke to Ewing about the earlier years of the series, when the franchise began to hit the mainstream. Ewing, a friend of some developers at DMA Design (which became Rockstar North in 2002), was working as an agent within Hollywood.
Ewing recalled staying up late one night with Houser at his hotel room chatting about the possibility of a movie adaptation or tie-in. “This was just after 3 [released],” Ewing said, “and I think at that point it was still in Sam’s mind that it might be something that they wanted to do.”
“I don’t know if I should tell this story,” Ewing continued, hesitating before Warburton encouraged him to share more.
Ewing went on to say he had received a call from a producer in LA, who made an offer for a GTA film. Names attached to the project were Eminem as an actor and Tony Scott (Top Gun) to direct. Rockstar would receive “$5m on the nose”. Ewing called Houser, he said, but Houser responded to say he wasn’t interested.
“At that point,” Ewing continued, “they withdrew from any conversation about making a film when they realised the media franchise they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time.”
It’s odd to think there could have been a GTA movie circa 2005. Would it have tanked the series’ popularity following the success of GTA 3? Or could it have been a a good movie based off a video game for once?