Why Hasn't Rockstar Made A Grand Theft Auto Movie Yet?

The makers of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and the upcoming L.A. Noire haven't hopped on the "transmedia" bandwagon yet, meaning they haven't tapped their best known franchises for movies, television shows or comic books. Why not?

Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser tells the Hollywood Reporter, bluntly, that "virtually all movies made from games are awful, while many games made from movies are also pretty horrible."

"If you feel the property has something about it that is universal or could work in another medium, and it is not simply about making easy money, then that is something worthwhile," Houser says. "Too often, however, the aim appears to be to cash-in on the success of a particular game, book, pop singer, website, etc., and that usually produces mediocre results."

The game developer's L.A. Noire will make a special appearance at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, but don't assume that's a sign they want to shift from games to film. Houser says that the company has "explored" movie deals, but hasn't bit... yet.

"If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves," Houser says, "or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms."

Rockstar Games' Dan Houser on 'L.A. Noire's' Selection by the Tribeca Film Festival [THR]

WATCH MORE: Gaming News


    They didn't do it cos adaptations are always worse than the source material. Except for Fight Club, even Chuck admits the movie had a better ending!

    They haven't made a movie because GTA3/VC/SA were basically a series of movie homages - both in specific missions and in the overall story arc. GTA4 was a bit more original, but didn't break any new ground thematically.

    “If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves,” Houser says, “or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms.”

    Are you listening, Naughty Dog?

      Naughty Dog is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. What exactly do you expect them to do if Sony Pictures decides they want to make a movie?

    The last paragraph is pivotal. Much respect.

    You have to make a well made film that can stand on its own but doesn't overshadow the games.

    In my opinion the Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia films have harmed the game series.

    Or maybe, because making games is exponentially more profitable for Take Two than making movies would be?

    (GTA4 sold 3.7 million units on its first day of release and grossed more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, selling an estimated 6 million units worldwide. As of March 10, 2011, the game had sold over 20 million copies. (from wikipedia))

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I really hope that Team Bondi gets the recognition they deserve for LA Noire. It's more their game than Rockstar's but they're rarely mentioned, it's always "LA Noire, by GTA developer Rockstar..." or "Rockstar's next game, LA Noire..."

    This is the same reasoning that Valve has with regards to their IP and movie deals. I think they also want to 'do it themselves.'

    If the Mass Effect movie gets green lit with the game director the Bioware chairman and CEO lined up as executive producers they can keep it true to the IP. I think developers and publishers would promote their IP but should also stubbornly defend it from movie and TV producers who don't exactly have a great track record of doing adaptions themselves.

    They did make a Grand Theft Auto movie. It's called Grand Theft Auto 4. It's a game.


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