Rockstar Games were approached to make a Grand Theft Auto movie with Eminem among the cast according to a claim by a former DMA Design developer and associate of Rockstar’s founders. Speaking recently on BBC‘s GTA history podcast, Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game, Kirk Ewing shared details on a movie deal proposal for the blockbuster game franchise.
Rockstar published State of Emergency and Earthworm Jim 3D which Kirk helped develop in the late 90’s and early 00’s and was friends with Sam and Dan Houser, the co-founders of Rockstar Games. The success of GTA III saw plenty of people wanted to get involved in on it. Ewing says on the podcast he tracked Sam to a hotel room one night to discuss the “possibility of making a film” late into the night. With GTA III just released, Sam apparently had in his mind a film might be something he wanted to do.
Details featuring Eminem
As an agent, Kirk Ewing, took a call at 4am from a producer based in Los Angeles who came up with an offer for a GTA movie along including a mega star. Hesitant whether he should tell this story, Kirk goes onto say the producer stated “We’ve got Eminem to star, and it’s a Tony Scott film – $5m on the nose. Are you interested?” Yes that’s right. Eminem and the late Tony Scott (Director of Top Gun, 1986). This will have been around the same time 8 Mile which starred Eminem had been a box office hit.
Following that conversation Kirk phoned Sam Houser to put forward the idea and said “They want Eminem in the Grand Theft Auto movie and Tony Scott to direct”. Sam said he was “not interested”. It is suggested Sam knew what a success Grand Theft Auto would be without a film and Hollywood involved. They wanted to focus on their game franchise as it was on its way to eclipse films itself. The two brothers wanted their series to be ran by them.
You can listen to the full podcast here which contains 7 episodes on the history of the Grand Theft Auto series from the humble beginnings to GTA V, the controversial remasters soon and be revealed GTA 6. The BBC actually reached out to Rockstar for a comment on the issues the remastered trilogy has but did not respond.
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