BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Has Daniel Radcliffe finally found his next big franchise with a Grand Theft Auto movie series? No. Unfortunately this isn't the kind of Grand Theft Auto movie that will see the former Harry Potter running around the city of San Andreas, California and beating up people for their cars to keep from getting caught by the police while running errands for the mob. If only...

No, this Grand Theft Auto movie will be about the creation of the massively popular game that practically single handedly changed the face of video games forever. Daniel Radcliffe has signed on to star as Sam Houser, one of the games creators and president of Rockstar Games. Picture a Social Network type of movie with Grand Theft Auto in place of Facebook and you'll have a good idea of what to expect.

The Story of Grand Theft Auto & Rockstar Games

The movie is based on the David Kushner book "Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto" which tells the tale of the media sensation and public outrage, lead by attorney Jack Thompson, that surrounded the initial release of the Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City video games. Numerous lawsuits were filed in the years between 2003 and 2007 but it is expected that the shooting of police officers by a Alabama teenager Devin Moore in 2003 will likely be a focus of the movie as this was one of the the biggest cases that Jack Thompson was involved in.

Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Actor Bill Paxton is on board to portray Jack Thompson, a spotlight grabbing figure in the world of the crazy American justice system who eventually got disbarred in 2008 for inappropriate behavior. He lead the charge to try and ban violent video games altogether, trying to make the case that Devin Moore's constant playing of Grand Theft Auto is what led to him grabbing a police officer's gun, shooting and killing police officers and trying to make a getaway in their car.

Oddly enough, the very American tale behind the controversy surrounding Grand Theft Auto is being turned into a movie by BBC films. Director Owen Harris, who has had a hand in the popular British series Black Mirror and Misfits, is at the helm and working with a script by BBC writer James Wood. You might recall Owen Harris' Black Mirror episode "I'll Be Right Back" as one of the standout episodes from the first series featuring Haley Atwell and Domnhall Gleeson.

Grand Theft Auto as Daniel Racliffe's Social Network

The debate about violence in video games is something that has been a huge point of contention for over a decade now and this is definitely the right story to use to address the issue. Many people were scratching their heads when word came out they people were making a movie about Facebook and that turned out pretty well. It feels like there is even more material to work with in telling the story behind the legal and media battles that Rockstar Games went through with Grand Theft Auto.

It'll be great to see Daniel Radcliffe in a higher profile movie as well. The Social Network really boosted Jesse Eisenberg's status and in his current post-Harry Potter state of affairs. He's definitely proven himself to have grown as an actor and Grand Theft Auto could be the movie that finally finds him shaking off the last of the Harry Potter typecasting and stepping into bigger and better roles than he's had in the years since.

What do you think? Will Grand Theft Auto be the next Social Network? Will this be Daniel Radcliffe's post Harry Potter breakthrough? Head to the comments section and let us know!


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