Given the popularity of Rockstar Games’ blockbuster Grand Theft Auto franchise, it’s a bit surprising that it’s taken this long for a movie based on the series to go into production. It’s perhaps even more surprising that the movie that is going into production will chronicle the creation of the franchise instead of what happens in the games.
Based on David Kushner’s bestselling book Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, the upcoming film follows the evolution of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and the controversy it created while becoming one of the most successful — and innovative — game series of all time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harry Potter franchise star Daniel Radcliffe has already been cast as the co-founder and president of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser, and Big Love star Bill Paxton joined the cast this week in the role of Jack Thompson, the tenacious attorney who attacked Rockstar and the GTA franchise over the levels of sex and violence in the games and was eventually disbarred due to the methods he employed.
The still-untitled film will be directed by Misfits and Black Mirror director Owen Harris, from a script penned by James Wood (Rev.).
The official synopsis of Kushner’s novel reads as follows:
Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest and most controversial videogame franchises of all time. Since its first release in 1997, GTA has pioneered the use of everything from 3D graphics to the voices of top Hollywood actors and repeatedly transformed the world of gaming. Despite its incredible innovations in the $75 billion game industry, it has also been a lightning rod of debate, spawning accusations of ethnic and sexual discrimination, glamorizing violence, and inciting real-life crimes. Jacked tells the turbulent and mostly unknown story of GTA’s wildly ambitious creators, Rockstar Games, the invention and evolution of the franchise, and the cultural and political backlash it has provoked.
Explains how British prep school brothers Sam and Dan Houser took their dream of fame, fortune, and the glamor of American pop culture and transformed it into a worldwide videogame blockbuster. Written by David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom and a top journalist on gaming, and drawn from over ten years of interviews and research, including firsthand knowledge of Grand Theft Auto’s creators and detractors.
The film is expected to begin shooting this month, with no release date announced at this point.