Rockstar Games Co-Founder Never Wanted A GTA Movie

GTA Movie

There were talks for a Grand Theft Auto (GTA) movie, but it never got much further than that.

Dan Houser, the co-founder of Rockstar Games and former head writer at the studio, recently spoke to The Akler where he talked about the time Rockstar met with Hollywood executives about making a possible film. These “awkward dates”, as he called them, had him never being convinced howa movie could benefit Rockstar more than the games themselves would.

“[W]e’d ask [the executives], why would we do this?” Houser said, to which the response would always be along the lines of, “You get to make a movie”.

“And we’d be like, no, what you’ve described is you making a movie and us having no control and taking a huge risk that we’re going to end up paying for with something that belongs to us,” he said.

He then continued to talk about how it felt like the executives pitching a movie to Rockstar thought the company would be “blinded by the lights” of Hollywood. Houser said, however, that the company never wavered on what it knew it had with the GTA franchise.

“We had what we considered to be multi-billion-dollar IP, and the economics never made sense,” he said. “The risk never made sense. In those days, the perception was that games made poor-quality movies.”

He did admit, though, that times have changed, especially with quality adaptations of games into TV shows such as The Last of Us and Fallout.

Houser left Rockstar Games in 2020. He now leads a new studio, Absurd Ventures, that is working on new third-person open-world game.


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  1. That’s a respectable response with not being blinded by the Hollywood allure to get a film going. Most of the time, they are terrible and GTA has a strong reputation that they probably don’t want to taint.

    Let’s also be real. The true success of GTA is the medium it’s in. GTA is successful because it’s a fun game first and foremost. Giving players the fantasy of committing crimes and being a bad person, as well as exploring a fleshed out world. It’s all escapism. I feel it wouldn’t translate well as a film as it will probably just end up being a generic gangster film.

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