Take-Two Boss Explains Why There's Never Been A GTA Movie
If you think Steven Ogg would make the perfect Trevor for a live-action Grand Theft Auto game, you aren't alone. There's a reason the actor's portrayal of the character in 2013's GTA V has made him an icon of the video game scene. Sadly, even 24 years after GTA first raced into our lives, there's never been a movie.
In today's society of live-action video game adaptations, everything from Sonic the Hedgehog to Tomb Raider, The Last of Us to Resident Evil, God of War, and even Detective Pikachu have made the leap from console to screen. We're rightly asking, where on Earth is GTA?
Why hasn't there been a GTA movie?
Speaking at The Grill 2021, the likes of Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer and Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick discussed the evolving landscape of video games into other mediums. Here, Spencer said Microsoft is wary of making movies and shows based on its movie. Even though the long-awaited Halo series is on the way, don't expect a live-action Fable anytime soon.
Talk soon turned to where GTA could go next - with Zelnick saying there's no movie on the cards. Zelnick championed the idea of a game's non-linear storytelling and explained, "As soon as you give people a 'choose-your-own-adventure' opportunity in a motion picture, you know what it does? It ruins the motion picture because you have destroyed that suspension of disbelief.
"Even though I sometimes think, I'm watching White Lotus and I would kind of like something else to happen, or Ozark, I would really like something else to happen, but if I get to make something else happen, I can no longer believe in it. It can't be real for me in that moment. Whereas GTA Online is real for you because of your engagement."
It's much of what Take-Two has said before, and even though whispers of an ambitious movie or series crop up about once a year, Take-Two and Rockstar are quick to shoot them down. In 2019, Zelnick told TheWrap, "If we were to do something like that, we'd want to have complete creative control to make sure we expressed it the way we wanted.
"And that would mean we'd need to finance that motion picture. While we have the balance sheet to do it, we don't have the corporate expertise to do it. Only a handful of people inside Take-Two have ever worked in that business. I'm one of them. But that's not what we do for a living."
Will there ever be a GTA movie?
News of a GTA movie hit clickbait sites around the world last year. The notoriously sketchy WeGotThisCovered seems to just make its stories up and incorrectly claimed Rockstar was working on an official GTA movie. Most readers saw through this, and just days later, reliable GTA community member Yan2295 described it as a baseless rumour.
Despite all of the above, that hasn't stopped us dreaming of what a GTA movie could be like. Remembering GTA V is the most profitable entertainment product of all time, there's plenty of buzz surrounding a possible movie or series. If that wasn't enough, even The Lord of the Rings' Elijah Wood said he wants in on the action.
It's interesting to note that Take-Two has dabbled in movies before because Rockstar Films was once a thing. As well as producing the live-action opening for GTA 2, there was the Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater short film to promote 2010's game. Finally, there was a full-blown theatrical release with The Football Factory in 2004.
Critics have pointed out that the Ryan Reynolds-led Free Guy is effectively a GTA movie, but looking at how well that one did at the box office, it should surely show Take-Two the money-making potential of their own official outing. Unfortunately, it sounds like Rockstar's film days are behind it... for now!
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