This week saw Rockstar Games announce an October 29 release date for the second Xbox 360-exclusive expansion of Grand Theft Auto IV, the Ballad of Gay Tony. At the same time, one of the developer's cofounders all but ruled out the chance of there ever being a Grand Theft Auto movie.
"We don’t believe that the Grand Theft Auto games, which are massive in scope and structurally complex, can be adequately compressed into a two-hour movie," Rockstar creative vice president Dan Houser told the Los Angeles Times.
Houser, whose brother Sam is Rockstar's president and a cocreator of the GTA series, went on to bemoan the low level of game-to-film adaptations to date. "It seems obvious to us that maintaining the long-term integrity of any entertainment property has been dependent on not making substandard spin-off products to people whose primary interest is making a quick buck," he opined. Though Houser did not name any specific game-based movies, one does not need to go far to find examples of such critical and commercial failures, with the Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li being the most recent example.
Houser's comments echoed those he gave in February 2008 following reports that Rockstar parent Take-Two Interactive was in advance negotiations to license a GTA film, possibly starring Eminem. However, he did lay out the conditions that would have to be met in the unlikely event a GTA movie were made.
"If we ever decide to do a film, it will be because we have resolved our creative doubts, and while retaining enough control to ensure that if the movie is terrible, at least we will know we ruined the property ourselves," declared the veteran developer.