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Daniel Radcliffe is in negotiations to star in Game Changer, a true-life account of a fight between the creator of Grand Theft Auto and a Miami lawyer who wanted to ban video game violence.
Rising British director Owen Harris, who directed episodes of Britain’s Misfits and Black Mirror, is helming the drama, which is being made by BBC Factual.
Radcliffe will play Sam Houser, the British co-founder and president of Rockstar Games, the company behind GTA as well as games such as Max Payne and Red Dead. He is credited in popularizing GTA into one of the video game world’s biggest franchises but also amping up the violence quotient.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Houser and Rockstar Games came under repeated attacks from activist attorney Jack Thompson. Thompson was an unorthodox Florida attorney who was already attacking media companies for pushing rap and sex onto the airwaves when he turned his attention to what he saw as an obsession of glorifying violence in the video game industry. GTA was one of his favorite targets. He was disbarred in 2008 for inappropriate behavior.
The part of Thompson has not been cast yet.
James Wood wrote the script for the project, which was previously titled Rockstar Games. Game Changer is a working title and the title could change again. Jim Spencer is producing while Mark Hedgecoe will exec produce.
The movie, slated to begin shooting April 20, is based on a book by David Kushner titled Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto.
Harris recently wrapped his first feature film, Kill Your Friends, which stars Nicholas Hoult and James Corden. The episode he directed of Black Mirror, the acclaimed anthology show, stars Haley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson. He is repped by WME and U.K.’s Independent Talent.
Kushner is repped by CAA and Marks Law Group.
Radcliffe next stars in Victor Frankenstein, Fox’s new take on the classic monster tale which opens October 2. He also recently wrapped the sequel to Lionsgate’s Now You See Me.
He is repped by UTA, Sue Latimer at ARG and Felker Toczek.
April 17, 6:05 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that BBC Films, not BBC Factual, is making the film. The story has also been updated to reflect that the working title of the project is Game Changer not Grand Theft Auto.
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