Daniel Radcliffe, Bill Paxton to Star in ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Drama

Daniel Radcliffe
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

LONDON — Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton are to star in TV movie “Game Changer,” which tells the story of the guys behind the videogame “Grand Theft Auto” and those who sought to muzzle it.

The BBC has greenlit the 90-minute drama, which focuses on a bunch of British gaming geniuses centered around Sam Houser (Radcliffe).

For those who do not know, “Grand Theft Auto” offers gamers the chance to step into a fantasy world where they can behave like criminals, gun down rival gangsters and cops, hijack cars and venture deeper into an imaginary American underworld.

The game has been a massive commercial success. In autumn 2013, its latest iteration — “GTA:V” — earned $1 billion in its first three days, becoming the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.

The TV film tracks how the violent gameplay coupled with its commercial success leads to fierce opposition: from parents worried about children immersing themselves in such a violent world; from politicians, alarmed at the values they say it encourages; and above all from moral campaigners, who fight passionately to ban it.

At the vanguard of this crusade is the campaigning lawyer Jack Thompson (Paxton), a man determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of “Grand Theft Auto.”

“Game Changer,” which is a working title, is a BBC inhouse production. It is written by James Wood (“Rev,” “Ambassadors”), and directed by Owen Harris (“Black Mirror,” “Misfits”). Jim Spencer “(Pride”) produces and Mark Hedgecoe is the executive producer.

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