The Grand Theft Auto video game franchise has been targeted by BBC Films for adaptation. If that alliance strikes you as odd, then that’s because the proposed movie won’t be a direct lift from the games’ bloody vehicular antics. The film is instead set to take its cues from a real-life legal battle revolving around the moral issue of video game violence.
One man who took umbrage with Rockstar Games – the folks behind GTA – was Miami lawyer Jack Thompson, who THR reports will be played in the film by Bill Paxton. The Miami activist took offense to the games produced by Rockstar and in particular to its founders Ben and Sam Houser. The siblings stumbled upon immense success in the industry through their hyper-stylized series of games, including Max Payne and Red Dead. Shortly thereafter, their GTA franchise came under fire from Thompson who decried the titles for their glamorization of violence.
If Paxton’s deal pans out, he will be sparring opposite Daniel Radcliffe, who was recently awarded the role of Sam Houser. Bringing a much-needed dose of social skewedness is Black Mirror scribe Owen Harris, who will direct from a script by James Wood that’s described as a “two-hander.” This term usually refers to a movie or show that revolves around two major characters for the bulk of its running time. With Paxton and Radcliffe in the headlining spots, Grand Theft Auto sounds like it could be this generation’s Frost/Nixon.
Production is expected to begin on April 20th, so keep your eyes peeled for the first set photos in the coming weeks.