Dirty Harry: Daniel Radcliffe tipped for Grand Theft Auto movie

Daniel Radcliffe

The British actor/ex-wizard is in the running to play the creator of the controversial game

Daniel Radcliffe is in talks to play the creator of Grand Theft Auto in a drama about the video game impresario’s real-life legal battle against a crusading anti-violence lawyer, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Radcliffe would play Sam Houser, the British-born co-founder of software developer Rockstar Games. The film, currently titled simply Grand Theft Auto, centres on a series of spats between Houser and born again Christian activist and lawyer Jack Thompson in the early years of the 21st century.

Thompson, who was disbarred in 2008 for inappropriate behaviour, was determined to see the hit video game forced to curb its burgeoning penchant for violence. The eccentric activist, who famously compared himself to Batman during his obscenity battles against hip-hop crews 2 Live Crew and NWA in the 1990s, argued repeatedly in a series of murder trials that killings in games encouraged teenage players to plan real-life attacks. He also urged retailers not to sell Grand Theft Auto’s various iterations to minors.

Up-and-coming British director Owen Harris, known for directing episodes of the TV shows Black Mirror and Misfits, will take charge of the film. The project is being put together by BBC Films and has a screenplay in place by James Wood, writer of BBC Two sitcom Rev, based on the book Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. Casting for the plum role of Thompson has not yet been confirmed, but Harris reportedly plans to shoot as early as this month.

The next major role for Radcliffe, best known for the Harry Potter films, will be Victor Frankenstein in a new take on Mary Shelley’s classic horror tale from studio Universal. Lucky Number Slevin’s Paul McGuigan will direct, with the film due in cinemas this October.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Thursday 9th April 2015 10.59 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010