1 Sep

BBC is doing a Grand Theft Auto TV show with Daniel Radcliffe

first_imgThe BBC has announced that they’ll be doing a new drama about the legal woes of the Grand Theft Auto franchise with Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton (of Aliens, Apollo 13, Twister, True Lies, take your pick).No, the show will not be a fictionalized narrative of the Grand Theft Auto universe, it will be the story of the video game getting dragged into court under the pretense that kids playing it were desensitized to violence and committed real crimes.Radcliffe will be the star of the show and plays Grand Theft Auto creator Sam Houser. Paxton plays activist lawyer Jack Thompson, who took GTA‘s developers Take Two and Rockstar to court several times over violence in games.Sam Houser. Can Daniel Radcliffe even grow a beard like that?If you weren’t paying attention to legal goings on in the early 2000s, you might not recognize Thompson as a juicy part for the likes of Paxton, but the dude was legit weird in his practices and phrasing while trying to get GTA and other media he deemed obscene recognized by the legal system. During one outburst where he videotaped his 10-year-old son buying a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City at a Miami Best Buy, he wrote this to Best Buy headquarters: “I am telling you, point-blank, that I am proceeding against you and your company and others for what you have already done and are now doing. Prosecutions and public relations consequences should fall on your Minneapolis headquarters like snowflakes.”Stuff like that eventually got Thompson disbarred in 2007 for unprofessional conduct.Jack Thompson and his nemesis.Thompson’s focus on targeting GTA made it into author Daniel Kushner’s book called Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, and that’s the book the BBC series will be using as inspiration.The prospect of Bill “Game Over, Man!” Paxton playing Jack Thompson has me a bit more excited than the perfectly capable Daniel Radcliffe as Houser, simply because Paxton’s ability to play an outsized character without having to stray much from the truth of Thompson’s wacky behavior.Paxton seemed to know the potential of the part last week: “[Jack Thompson] got Howard Stern kicked off the radio and took on 2 Live Crew… There’d be a gag order and he’d still go on talk shows. He would write these hateful letters to people he was litigating. He just got too emotionally caught up in it.”Jacked, Kushner’s book, is narrative non-fiction.  I haven’t read it, but from what I can tell, it concerns itself with Houser and the GTA team taking on the American media and legal systems to defend Rockstar Games and their particular brand of video game violence.Bonus for people who like to see animated sex on screen: the book also covers the “Hot Coffee” incident, where a hidden mini-game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas allowed players to play the main character engaging in intercourse with one of his girlfriends. That will probably be a whole hour of stuff Daniel Radcliffe will have to deal with.If you want to see some screencaps I can’t put here, Google “Hot Coffee GTA” at home.If this sounds vaguely like the kind of pitch you’ve heard before, welcome to the club. The BBC is basically doing a mini-series Social Network with Daniel Radcliffe and GTA in place of  Jesse Eisenberg and GTA in place of Facebook. The Social Network was based on a book called The Accidental Billionaires, this one is based on Jacked, it tracks.The series began production this week, so we have some time before this hits the airwaves. Maybe time for me to actually read Jacked.last_img

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