Once upon a time, Rockstar Games apparently rejected turning Grand Theft Auto into a Hollywood film with Eminem and Top Gun director, Tony Scott, in tow. Always the mavericks, Sam and Dan Houser turned down this offer.
According to video game industry veteran, Kirk Ewing, an LA producer once approached Sam and Dan to buy the rights to a Grand Theft Auto movie for $5 million. Apparently, Sam and Ewing had talked about possibly making a live-action adaptation or a tie-in movie to Grand Theft Auto 3 in 2001. But, when Rockstar Games got the offer, the brothers said that they were "not interested" after realizing that "the media franchise they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time."
And, well, they were right.
It took Rockstar a while, but the Housers eventually realized their original vision. The series' latest entry, Grand Theft Auto 5, came out in 2013. GTA 5 eventually became the fastest entertainment release ever to reach $1 billion, which it did in three days. In comparison, the fastest movie ever to do so was 2019's Avengers: Endgame and it took the movie five days to do so. To date, GTA 5 is still the most-profitable entertainment release ever.
Nearly a decade after it came out, GTA 5 still rakes in billions of dollars in annual revenue for Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive.
Financially, there's no reason for Rockstar to pivot toward movies. If anything, Rockstar has set the bar for itself too high. As GTA 5's shadow looms large over its successor, GTA fans wonder if Rockstar is feeling the pressure. The recent GTA 6 leak doesn't help ease concerns either. Thankfully, Take-Two seems confident that work on GTA 6 is going as planned. The company's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, claims that GTA 6 will surpass GTA 5, so it's not like they're left wanting more confidence.
Ultimately, things went well for all the parties that would've been involved if Rockstar had said yes to the offer. Still, you can't deny that there's this nagging feeling that a GTA movie at the time would've done well, regardless.