Rockstar Passed On GTA Movie With Eminem
Will the real Trevor Philips please stand up? By now, we're sure you know that Grand Theft Auto V is the most profitable entertainment product of all time - take that Avengers: Endgame. Although we're looking ahead at the eventual release of GTA 6, the GTA name continues to flourish thanks to the astronomical popularity of GTA Online.
As Amazon gets its claws into live-action God of War and Fallout outings, HBO gets ready to usher in The Last of Us, and Netflix tries to fix The Witcher following Henry Cavill's departure, the curse of video game adaptations is hopefully broken. So, where is our GTA movie? Well, it turns out one was pitched years ago... with Eminem taking a starring role.
Why Did Rockstar Turn Down A GTA Movie?
Speaking to Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game on BBC Sounds, talent agent Kirk Ewing confirmed that he'd once offered Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser a GTA movie that would've starred Eminem and been directed by Top Gun's Tony Scott. With Ewing being close to the original DMA coders from the birth of GTA, he was well-placed to persuade the Housers to make a GTA movie.
Ewing explained: "Because of the relationship that I had with Rockstar and I had with Sam, I actually tracked him down to his hotel room one night where I knew he was going to be staying, and the two of us stayed up late and talked about the possibility of making a film, and this was just after [GTA] 3. And I think at that point, you know, it was still in Sam's mind that it might be something that he wanted to do."
As for Eminem's role, he continued: "I remember taking a call about 4am from a producer in Los Angeles 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?' and I phoned up Sam and said 'Look, listen to this, they want Eminem in the Grand Theft Auto movie and Tony Scott to direct, and he said: 'Not interested.'" Ewing confirmed that the idea wasn't discussed again because those at the top knew the franchise at large "was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time."
Will There Be A GTA Movie?
It's important to remember that back around the time of GTA 3, Eminem was everywhere. These days, he's not in the limelight as much, and is largely remembered for giving us the Venom soundtrack. In 2022, we can't imagine anyone other than Steven Ogg playing Trevor again in live-action, but with the might of the GTA name behind it, a galaxy of stars would undoubtedly be lured to the project like a video game Fast & Furious.
Take-Two Interactive is apparently well aware of the potential a GTA movie would have, and only recently, Strauss Zelnick explained it's never happened because the non-linear narrative of GTA just wouldn't work. He's previously said that Take-Two would want complete creative control over a GTA movie, which would require the publisher to finance itself. Well, it's not like you're short of cash really, is it?