Grand Theft Auto has been pitched as a movie to Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser many times now, but the money just hasn’t been up to the risk of potentially sullying the franchise.
Speaking with the Guardian, Houser said, “We’ve been offered, many times, and it’s never appealed. The money’s never been close to be worth risking one’s crown jewels. Our small dabblings with Hollywood have always left us running back to games. The freedom we have to do what we want creatively is of enormous value.
“The second you go near Hollywood, people seem willing, or have been forced, to lose a lot of that control. That sort of amorphous ‘that won’t test well’ attitude is exactly how we don’t work. We’ve always tried to think of stuff that’s innovative and new, and to go into a world where that’s not encouraged would be horrible.”
Houser conceded that it’d be much simpler to adapt the franchise into a TV series however, “There’s still plenty of kudos in doing a film, but you shouldn’t ever do anything in your life for kudos. It’s much easier to imagine GTA as a TV series, as the form is closer, but I still think we’d be losing too much to ever actually do it.
“We’ve got this big open-world experience that’s 100 hours long, and that gives players control over what they do, what they see, and how they see it. A world where you can do everything from rob a bank to take a yoga lesson to watch TV, all in your own time. How do you condense that into a two-hour or 12-hour experience where you take away the main things: player agency and freedom?”
Do you think the Housers have been smart to refrain from adapting the series to TV or film? Could it work one day? Let us know below.