Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton confirmed for BBC’s GTA drama

Ben Parfitt
Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton confirmed for BBC’s GTA drama

The BBC has confirmed the first official casting and plot details of its upcoming drama about the development of Grand Theft Auto.

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, Horns) will star as Sam Houser and Bill Paxton (Aliens, Apollo 13) as lawyer Jack Thompson, as per previously rumoured. The show also has an official working title – Game Changer.

It is being written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris.

Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama tells the story of the controversy surrounding the computer game Grand Theft Auto – arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park,” the BBC blurb reads.

Its triumph was down to a bunch of British gaming geniuses who had known each other since their school days, and at the heart of it all was GTA's creative mastermind, Sam Houser. In autumn 2013 its latest iteration – GTA:V – earned $1bn in its first three days, becoming the fastest selling entertainment product in history.

But the violent gameplay coupled with its outstanding 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 formidable campaigning lawyer Jack Thompson, a man determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of Grand Theft Auto.

Game Changer tells the story of an extraordinary chapter in the history of this iconic game, and reveals the major impact it has had on our cultural landscape.”

The program was announced last month, although questions have already been asked by some of the developers of the original Grand Theft Auto who claim not to have been contacted by the BBC about its productions.

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