There’s little doubt that Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time. Its latest installment demonstrated just how much of a pop culture juggernaut the series is, with sales in excess of 40 million units across all consoles. This sort of broad appeal has often prompted speculation regarding a film adaptation — but fans might be about to get something far better.
Rather than dip into the often perilous waters of the relationship between video games and the movie industry, it seems that Grand Theft Auto will instead make its debut on the small screen. Earlier today, the BBC announced plans for a one-off drama special based on the game as part of its upcoming ‘Make it Digital’ initiative.
Details are currently sparse, but speculation as to the content of the show is already in full flow. GTA fans would undoubtedly be very satisfied with a crime drama of a similar ilk to BBC outputs like Luther or Life on Mars — but it seems that the broadcast actually focusses on the real-life making of the game, rather than the criminal exploits it’s known for.
The ‘Make it Digital’ campaign looks to promote digital technology skills in the UK, with one million coding devices being distributed to school children and a documentary of World War II codebreakers being aired, amongst other projects. While a drama based on the game’s irreverent take on modern culture would be very entertaining, a look at DMA Design in the 90s is far more appopriate for this purpose.
One of the creative leads behind the project, Guy Cocker, has since taken to Twitter to confirm that the 90-minute special will be a behind the scenes look at the creation of the first game, rather than a straight adaptation. While this may be a disappointment to some fans, others will be eager to see this behind-the-scenes dramatization of the earliest days of one of gaming’s most controversial series.
So, much like the rumored story DLC for Grand Theft Auto V, fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see the streets of Los Santos or Liberty City on film. Meanwhile, this as-yet-untitled look at the making of Grand Theft Auto is expected to air on BBC2 sometime before the end of 2015 — as of the time of writing, there are no details on plans for an American broadcast.