Report: Grand Theft Auto Movie Is Impossible

By Chris Faylor, Jun 20, 2008 10:26am PDT A film based on the open-world criminal antics of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series is likely to never happen due to a 1977 movie of the same name, according to LA Weekly film columnist Nikki Finke.

That movie, which was directed by and starred Ron Howard (left), is said to be the source of a legal settlement in which Rockstar supposedly agreed to never make a Grand Theft Auto film as long as Fox never makes a video game based on Howard's work.

Left, Howard's Grand Theft Auto film. Right, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV.

In other words, Finke claims that Rockstar has the rights to the Grand Theft Auto game series, while Fox holds the rights for the entirely unrelated, but identically named Grand Theft Auto movie.

The most recent Grand Theft Auto game, Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, 360), debuted in late April and pulled in $500 million during its first week at retail. It has since sold over 8.5 million units worldwide.

Though a remake of that unrelated film has been planned for years, the game's success has apparently had no impact on its mired production. "They are nowhere on the script," said a source. "It has been one of 400 development projects for several years."

Thanks to orgcaptainnemo for the tip.

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  • Did this settlement happen back when the first game came out? Or when GTA3 took over the world?

    I bet it happened between GTA1 and GTA3 which might explain why GTA2 is literally listed as "GTA2" on the box. This means back when the settlement happened GTA was some dinky little franchise instead of he monster it's become since. Fox must have figured that this wasn't worth their time and money.

    Similar to what happened when Apple Computer got sued by Apple Records - they agreed to settle so long as Apple Computer never got into the music business. When Apple opened the iTunes Music Store, Apple Records re-sued them. That's been settled too, apparently, what with the Beatles catalog headed to iTunes soon.

    So if that's true I bet that some time in the near future, a new settlement is reached wherein a Grand Theft Auto movie based on the game happens. There's just too much money involved for the parties involved to not eventually work out their differences.