Image: Rockstar Games

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that the Grand Theft Auto series is huge. It is big enough to have GTA 6 subjected to leaks for months, big enough to have its iconic trilogy ported to Switch (in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition) with terrible effect last year and, it turns out, it was almost big enough to spawn its own Eminem-starring movie back in the early 2000s.

In a recent chat on the Bugzy Malone's Grandest Game podcast, Hollywood agent Kirk Ewing spoke about how he found himself in the middle of discussions between film producers and Rockstar Games on the potential of the GTA movie.

As reported in VGC, these discussions began to circulate right after the release of GTA III, when the prospect of Rockstar expanding its series out into other branches still seemed like a fruitful prospect. Ewing's ties to Rockstar boss Sam Houser made him the perfect middle man for the production discussions which, at one point, went as far as the proposition of a movie starring multi-award winning rapper Eminem from Top Gun director Tony Scott.

Transcribed by Jordan Middler for VGC, Ewing said the following of the ensuing exchange:

“And I phoned up Sam and said: ‘Look, you need to listen to this. They want Eminem in the Grand Theft Auto movie and Tony Scott to direct.’ And he said: ‘Not interested.’
“At that point, they withdrew from any conversation about making a film, when they realised that the media franchise that they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time.”

With no evidence of production history or the angle that the studio would take, we can't say for certain whether the film would have been any good. Though with Scott in the director's chair and Eminem in front of the camera, you can be pretty certain that it would have made a buck or two.

Of course, no such movie ever materialised and Rockstar went on to continue down the game-only route - pfft, what good ever came from that?? - but it is nonetheless interesting to hear what almost was. Who knows, maybe an increased interest after a film release would have changed the subsequent games, eventually improving the quality of the trilogy's car crash Switch release. Well, we can dream at least...

Who would you like to see star in a GTA movie today? Take to the comments to let us know!

[source, via]