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GTA film starring Eminem almost happened but Rockstar “not interested”

An Eminem-led GTA film was presented to Rockstar in the early 2000s, but the Housers were "not interested" in taking the sandbox game series to the big screen

Eminem led GTA film almost happened but Rockstar said no

Bet you wouldn’t think Eminem would star in a videogame movie, and one based around GTA no less. Well according to an insider this nearly happened, but GTA developer Rockstar turned the offer down after wanting to make a movie based on the hit open-world game series for some time.

This is according to games industry veteran Kirk Ewing, who spoke on Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game podcast. Ewing had many conversations with Rockstar founders Dan and Sam Houser about the possibility of a GTA film, with one such scenario coming from Top Gun director Tony Scott, who offered $5 million for the rights to said film starring Eminem.

According to Ewing a movie based on GTA was in discussion between the Housers around the launch of GTA 3 in 2001, with Eminem also filming the semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile at the time.

Ewing says both the Housers said they were “not interested” in the project however, after Ewing and Sam houser stayed up late one night talking about the possibilities in a hotel. An LA producer apparently phoned Ewing saying they had lined up Eminem to star.

“And I phoned up Sam and I said ‘Listen to this. They want Eminem in the Grand Theft Auto movie and Tony Scott to direct,” says Ewing. “And [Houser] said: ‘Not interested’.”

Ewing adds that the Housers “realised that the media franchise that they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time.”

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really, as GTA, and GTA 5 especially, is one of the biggest media franchises on earth. In fact GTA 5 has grossed more in its lifetime than any movie could even hope to achieve.

While we still have to wait for the GTA 6 release date, this is certainly some very interesting news on the series. There was an absolutely colossal GTA 6 gameplay leak recently, but Rockstar and Take-Two have said since that it won’t be slowing down development at all.

This story of Eminem almost leading a GTA film comes from the BBC and it’s Bugzy Malone’s Grandest game podcast.

If this story has got you wanting to jump back into Rockstar’s most recent GTA game, why not check out the best GTA 5 mods on offer, or read about how loads of GTA Online players held a funeral for rapper Takeoff after they passed away recently.