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Take-Two Boss Confirms The Publisher Is Being ‘Very Selective’ About Potential New Movie Adaptations

A Grand Theft Auto movie or TV series is unlikely to see the light of day anytime soon, with Take-Two chief Strauss Zelnick revealing during the publisher’s earnings call overnight that the company is taking a “very, very selective” approach to adapting its core IPs.

The executive was quizzed about whether it and Rockstar Games were willing to explore new avenues for the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises, particularly in wake of Nintendo’s news that it is producing a live-action The Legend of Zelda movie.

Zelnick, who previously headed up 20th Century Fox as its president and COO for four years, had this to say in response:

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If we were willing to use the company’s balance sheet to make a movie or a television show, then in the event of great success we would benefit from it. But we’re not prepared to use the company’s balance sheet that way because the risk/reward profile is unappealing to us. They’re very difficult businesses. I’ve been in them successfully, they’re super challenging, they’re not what we do. We much prefer the risk/reward profile of the business that we’re in.

So that means that the only way we can be in that business is through a license arrangement with a third party. And let’s put it in context. Mattel said that their expected profits from licensing the Barbie IP for a movie would be about $125 million. Now, Barbie is a massive, massive hit, it’s an extraordinary hit, so you don’t want to posit a massive hit and look at the numbers that way.

Even in a really good news scenario, the license fees would be a fraction thereof for many of our properties, not really enough to be meaningful here. And we have to weigh that too against the risk of failure. And the hit ratios in the motion picture business are vastly lower than they are in the interactive entertainment business.

Take-Two does have a few movie adaptations in the works, notably Borderlands and BioShock. The former is scheduled for release on August 9, 2024, and features Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the cast, while the BioShock film as far as we’re aware is still in production but is without a release date.

Speaking of GTA, the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 is in the pipeline at Rockstar Games and will get its first trailer unveiled in early December. Strauss said during a recent interview that Take-Two is now in full ‘growth mode‘ following the game’s announcement.

[Source – VGC]