Despite a, let’s say, less than ideal track record when it comes to adapting video games for cinema, Hollywood sure seems to be in love with the idea.
Perhaps with the sole exception of this year’s Detective Pikachu, every such transition has resulted in a barely passable product at best and an outright catastrophe at worst. And yet, movie studios seem content to keep throwing money at the wall in an effort to see what sticks. In the future ahead, Sonic The Hedgehog and the further off Mortal Kombat reboot could prove to continue a streak of success begun by Pokémon’s live-action debut, but audiences are skeptical, to say the least.
That being the case, it hardly comes as a surprise that Rockstar and Take-Two have been reluctant to hand over the rights to Grand Theft Auto for another potential addition to the Blu-ray bargain bin. Those are the concerns that Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick has voiced in a recent interview, at least. Speaking to TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman, the CEO explained why Rockstar’s massively successful franchise has never made the jump to cinema.
Part of it is, if we were to do something like that, we’d want to have complete creative control to make sure we expressed it the way we wanted. And that would mean we’d need to finance that motion picture. While we have the balance sheet to do it, we don’t have the corporate expertise to do it. Only a handful of people inside Take-Two have ever worked in that business. I’m one of them. But that’s not what we do for a living.
Furthermore, Zelnick goes on to explain how handing over the creative rights to one of the most profitable properties in the world to a film studio would be a risk not worth taking. “You have the most valuable intellectual property ever created by mankind: Grand Theft Auto,” he said, adding: “We wholly own and control it. Are we really going to let go of that and hope that someone, no matter how talented they are, will do a really good job with that?”
To cut a long story short, then, the only way Grand Theft Auto fans are likely to ever see Rockstar’s series become a movie is if it decides to start training its own staff in the art of filmmaking. Some things just aren’t meant to be, it seems.