First trailer for BBC's Grand Theft Auto docudrama THE GAMECHANGERS

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GTA head

It’s something I’ve been curious about for a while now and it’s (almost) here: the BBC docudrama The Gamechangers. The film tells the tale of the development of the best-selling video game franchise ‘Grand Theft Auto’ by British brothers Sam and Dean Houser. It stars Daniel Radcliffe and Ian Keir Attard as the aforementioned brothers, and Bill Paxton as the crusading anti-GTA attorney Jack Thompson.

According to the BBC when it was first announced, the movie is intended to “form part of a BBC initiative to increase young peoples’ interest in learning digital skills”. Subsequently Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games which produces the games, filed a suit against the BBC to halt the production as they were unhappy with the direction it was taking and that neither they, Rockstar, nor the Houser brothers were involved in any way – it seems nothing Grand Theft Auto-related is ever far from controversy.

Take a look at the first trailer:

Um… what was that? I was curious about this, but after seeing that trailer all I can think is “ugh”. I don’t know what else to say, my words have failed me almost as much as Nick does.

They call it a docudrama, but if we’re being honest it looks more like a sensational “based on a true story” drama that focuses more on the events following the game’s release than anything related to “increasing young people’s interest in learning digital skills”; and now I understand why Take-Two is trying to shut that whole thing down. The BBC had the opportunity to deliver on their stated goal, and it looks like they chose to snatch at the low-hanging fruit instead.

The Gamechangers will air on BBC Two on 15 September and I expect very few young people will watch it, let alone be inspired by it.

Last Updated: September 4, 2015

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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