A recently uncovered trademark filing for Rockstar Films suggests that movie adaptations of Rockstar Games’ biggest hits, including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire, may be making their way to the silver screen.
Though a trademark for Rockstar Films previously turned up in 2004 (and was credited as executive producer onThe Football Factory and Sunday Driver) this more expansive trademark filing suggests that Rockstar are to bring some of their major properties to the big screen, monitoring the development closely themselves.
The trademark description outlines Rockstar Films’ potential output as “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.”
The registration process is yet to be finalised, and won’t officially be published in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s official weekly journal until the 19th of July. However, Dan Houser, VP of creativity at Rockstar Games, has spoken openly of his dislike towards game-to-movie adaptations, and how his team would go about such work differently from other games studios who have attempted it in the past. Speaking to 1up, he said that:
“We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie. 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.”
Rockstar Games’ titles have always drawn heavily from cinematic influences; the GTA series has The Godfather and Goodfellas written all over it, while the spaghetti western stylings of Red Dead Redemption are well documented. They certainly know how to script a great game, and also great plot lines within games, but game-to-movie adaptations are historically at best a mediocre affair.
Though Rockstar are better equipped to buck the crappy game-to-movie trend than other developers, we’d expect them however (at least initially) to focus on new intellectual properties with Rockstar Films rather than risk sullying the names of their top franchises straight away.