The CEO of Grand Theft Auto V publisher Take-Two reveals that the company has licensed the movie rights to two of its video game franchises.
There have been more bad movies based on video games than good ones, but as long as both forms of entertainment remain popular, it seems likely that they’ll continue to cross paths. Now, it’s been revealed that movie adaptations of multiple Take-Two properties could be inbound.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick admitted that cinematic adaptations of video games had been “spotty” in the past in an interview with MCV. However, he went on to announce that the company had licensed “a couple of titles” for movie adaptations.
Zelnick noted that he couldn’t reveal any more details about the deals that are in place. Given the wealth of gaming franchises that the publisher has ties with, it’s difficult to predict which of its properties is headed to the silver screen.
The obvious pick is perhaps Grand Theft Auto, given the the franchise is enormously popular and would lend itself to a movie adaptation rather well. However, it would perhaps be unwise for Take-Two to lease out its biggest cash-cow from the off, so we might see the publisher’s movie output kick off with a less notable series.
In that case, a film based on Red Dead Redemption might be a good idea — especially with the game’s sequel scheduled to his later this year. Of course, there are plenty of other compelling options, like a crime drama based on the Mafia games, or another attempt to adapt Bioshock.
It’s worth noting that Take-Two has no plans to foot the bill for the movie projects that are in development. “We are certainly not going to use our own balance sheet to invest in motion pictures and TV,” said Zelnick. “If other people want to license them and we can retain creative control, we are open-minded.”
Despite the uneven quality of movies inspired by video games, this kind of release still shows plenty of box office potential. Last year, Warcraft was panned by critics and threatened to be a huge flop — but it ended up being the most successful video game movie ever, when all was said and done.
The success of films based on games published by Take-Two will come down to which properties have been licensed. It’s easy to imagine the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock being turned into great movies, but other franchises wouldn’t have anywhere near as much appeal to cinema audiences.