Rockstar creative Kirk Ewing reveals details of a scrapped Grand Theft Auto movie, including that the rejected project would've starred Eminem.
While gamers eagerly await the next title in the franchise, details have emerged about a scrapped Grand Theft Auto movie with Eminem. First created by David Jones and Mike Dailly, the video game franchise puts players in a variety of open-world environments and let them engage in a wide array of activities, namely criminal ones including stealing vehicles, participating in heists, and often making one's way up the ladder of a criminal organization. Starting as a top-down arcade-style game before transitioning to the third-person action format of today, the Grand Theft Auto franchise is hailed as both one of the most innovative and controversial in the gaming sphere, having shipped an astounding 385 million units, making it the fifth-best-selling game franchise of all-time.
In the latest episode of the BBC podcast Bugzy Malone's Grandest Game, Kirk Ewing reflected on the success of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and his relationship with co-developer Sam Houser. The State of Emergency creator even revealed that a Grand Theft Auto movie was pitched to Houser and Rockstar with Eminem set to star and Top Gun's Tony Scott set to direct, only for them to turn them down for an interesting reason. See what Ewing shared below:
Because of the relationship that I had with Rockstar and I had with Sam, I actually tracked them down to a hotel room one night, where I knew he was going to be staying, and we stayed up late and talked about the possibility of making a film. This was just after [Grand Theft Auto] III, and I think at that point, it was still in Sam’s mind that it might be something that he wanted to do. I remember taking a call at about 4 a.m. from a producer in Los Angeles with an offer to make a film, and he said, “Kirk, we’ve got Eminem to star, and Tony Scott to film, $5 million on the nose, are you interested?” I phoned up Sam, and I said, “Listen to this, they want Eminem in the Grand Theft Auto movie, and Tony Scott to direct.” And he said, “Not interested.” At that point, they withdrew from any conversation about making a film when they realized that the media franchise they had, what they had, was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time.