Could Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games be in the early stages of adapting some of the Grand Theft Auto studio’s properties for transmedia use, specifically movies and short films? Looks like it.
Take-Two filed (via SystemLink) an otherwise unnoticed-until-now trademark in December 2010 for Rockstar Films, which applies to “Animated motion picture films featuring entertainment, namely, action, adventure, dramatic, comedic, children’s and documentary themes; pre-recorded video discs and other pre-recorded digital and electronic media in the field of live action programs, motion pictures, or animation featuring entertainment, namely, action, adventure, dramatic, comedic, children’s and documentary themes.”
That sure sounds like someone, somewhere within the publisher is thinking about seeing one or more Rockstar franchise move out of the games space. Interestingly, Rockstar Films was originally trademarked as far back as 2004, and fell under “entertainment services in the nature of a live-action and/or animated television program series.” Domains for RockstarFilms.com/.net are also locked down, having been acquired in the late ’90s. Since then the firm has been credited on The Football Factory and Sunday Driver, a documentary included with GTA: San Andreas.
Coincidentally, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has been quite vocal about their interest in potentially attempting films one day — both GTA and L.A. Noire have been mentioned, and Red Dead Redemption already has Hollywood interest – and that anyone other than Rockstar themselves would probably fuck them up. See: Max Payne.
“We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie,” said House earlier this year, talking to The Hollywood Reporter. “We love movies, but we also love games and that is what we remain focused on. If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms. But doing that takes time, and making games properly takes a lot of time. So, we may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet.“
“We spent a long time being told Westerns were dead, then we made Red Dead Redemption, which along with True Grit showed that well-made classic Westerns have life left in them in any medium. The same could be said of classic Noir – a great film could be successful now, just as Chinatown and LA Confidential were long after the 1940s.“
They aren’t alone in this. Ubisoft has recently established a dedicated Ubisoft Motion Pictures branch, with nothing no to show yet, and various publishers are looking to adapt their games to both the big and small screen.
Neither Rockstar or Take-Two have commented on the matter, so there’s no telling what this may mean going forward, if anything.