Grand Theft Auto Movie Nearly Happened Last Year

It’s been a frequent target for critics of violence in videogames — and a constant source of profit for its producer, Rockstar Games, since its debut in the late ’90s — but Grand Theft Auto also very nearly became something else last year: A feature film.

In the debut of his Cut Scene blog, Variety‘s Ben Fritz shares the news on “the Grand Theft Auto movie that almost was,” telling readers that after years of rebuffed proposals by various studios, one lucky (and unnamed) suitor came thisclose to locking up a deal with Rockstar. Here, let’s let Fritz tell it:

By the spring, a deal was virtually in place with one of the six major studios to start developing a “Grand Theft Auto” movie. Eminem was quite possibly going to star…Reporters at Variety (and, I have since learned, other publications) were preparing their stories based on conversations with the studio in question. Internally at Take 2, people were talking about it as a done deal. Then at the last minute, it all fell apart. I’m told Take 2 couldn’t finalize terms with the studio, though I’m not sure if it was a purely financial issue or if, in the end, the publisher got cold feet about giving away rights to its baby.

Yes, GTA fans, you narrowly missed the opportunity to see one of the industry’s most popular games brought to the big screen. With Eminem in the lead. You have got to love Hollywood.

Grand Theft Auto IV hits Xbox 360 and the PS3 on April 29.

[Via: The Cut Scene]