1UP unveils Rockstar and Take-Two were planning a movie based on the Grand Theft Auto series but that in the end the deal fell through.
Well, turns out it was, and at least one studio in particular came closer to sealing the deal last year than anyone imagined. According to a blog post by Ben Fritz, Variety's videogames reporter, a deal was "virtually in place" with a major studio to make a Grand Theft Auto movie. And get this -- rapper Eminem was likely to star.
"How close was this deal to happening? Reporters at Variety (and, I have since learned, other publications) were preparing their stories based on conversations with the studio in question," Fritz writes. "Internally at Take 2, people were talking about it as a done deal. Then at the last minute, it all fell apart. I'm told Take 2 couldn't finalize terms with the studio, though I'm not sure if it was a purely financial issue or if, in the end, the publisher got cold feet about giving away rights to its baby."
According to Fritz, studios have indeed been approaching Rockstar for years with the interest of developing a GTA movie, but the developer has remained reticent to letting it happen. How a studio even managed to get this close, Fritz postulates, may have had something to do with Take-Two's new management. "This was soon after the board was ousted following a financial scandal," he writes. "The new (and current) chairman, Strauss Zelnick, has significant ties to the traditional media industry given his previous posts as CEO of BMG Music and president of 20th Century Fox."