Source: The Twitter feed of expert Internet sleuth Superannuation.
What we heard: Up until recently, the Grand Theft Auto franchise was publisher Take-Two Interactive's main moneymaker. Since then, Take-Two has begun to expand its top-flight portfolio with the likes of Red Dead Redemption and BioShock 2. However, the franchise that continues to command the most attention remains GTA.
Nearly three years removed from the top-rated release of GTAIV, and it's possible that the first tidbits of GTAV info have been puzzled out by Superannuation. The posts began in late February, when the Internet sleuth discovered an actor's resume with a since-deleted reference to motion-capture work on Grand Theft Auto V. This motion-capture find, he said, led him to further investigation into motion-capture casting calls for Rockstar's go-to casting studio Telsey & Company.
"Among the projects listed in the casting call was an 'interactive project' called 'Rush,' which featured characters that fit with the few details I heard about GTA5; outlandish characters, weed, gangsters, & celebrities fit the profile for a contemporary LA-set GTA game," Superannuation tweeted.
The casting call in question, which commenced on December 6, sought actors to do motion capture and voice work for eight "additional principal characters" on the interactive project. The personalities have a decidedly Rockstar feel, with stock characters such as the "annoying, wise cracking, highly successful FBI agent" mixed with absurd personalities such as the "Welsh monk / cult leader / yoga teacher - 50, very lithe, very into exploring your personal tension through gripping massage."
Other characters referenced in the listing include a "weed evangelist"; a "swinger, mellow Californian divorcee" who is "ugly but comfortable with self"; and a "publicist for an actress known as America's newest sweetheart…who just so happens to love animals, orphans, drugs and sex."
Superannuation also secured a direct link between "Rush" and Rockstar Games, again courtesy of a self-promotional actor. On September 9, professional wrestler and aspiring actor Robert Esparza tweeted, "Got body scanned for my role in the video game 'Rush', coming out on Rockstar Games."
Should Rockstar choose to set GTAV on the West Coast, it wouldn't be a first for the franchise. The highly regarded GTA: San Andreas featured Los Angeles and San Francisco-inspired cities, complete with their surrounding boroughs. Of course, it wouldn't be the first time that Rockstar has returned to a locale, as GTAIV and GTAIII both took place on the mean streets of Liberty City, which bears more than a passing resemblance to New York.
The official word: Rockstar had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.
Bogus or Not Bogus?: A very tentative not bogus. What seems clear, at least, is that Rockstar is prepping some project under the name "Rush" and that the project will have an eclectic cast of characters that mesh with the GTA universe. Unfortunately, Take-Two has not even announced GTAV yet, so it may be some time before the industry gets an official look at the title.