A film adaptation of Grand Theft Auto directed by the late Tony Scott featuring Eminem in a leading role almost became a reality before being rejected by GTA co-creator Sam Houser. In an interview with the BBC podcast Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game, Kirk Ewing, a veteran within the games industry, revealed the details of the movie adaptation that never was.
Ewing, a close friend to Houser, discussed the potential of a movie tie-in to the crime franchise, with ideas floating around for a film after the release of GTA 3. Ewing said “at that point, it was still in Sam’s mind that it might be something that he wanted to do.”
Ewing further discussed a phone call that he took “at about 4 am,” from a Hollywood agent with an offer to adapt the popular crime saga onto the silver screen. According to Ewing, the call came “ from one of the producers in LA with an offer to make a film, and he said: ‘Kirk, we’ve got Eminem to star, and it’s a Tony Scott film, five million on the nose, are you interested?’”
Subsequently, Ewing reached out to Houser with the offer, and in response, the Rockstar chief said he wasn’t interested. That, sadly, was that. “They realized that the media franchise that they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time,” Ewing added.
The closest we’ve come to an adaptation based off GTA came in 2015, following the release of the BBC docudrama, The Gamechangers, starring Daniel Radcliffe. In other GTA news, GameLuster reported last week that sales of GTA V had slowed for the first time in almost a decade.