Bill Paxton is the latest big name actor to be cast in the BBC Films drama based around the dramatic rise of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and its developer, Rockstar. The 59-year-old actor will be playing Jack Thompson, a now disbarred attorney and known anti-video game activist who came into the forefront during the early 2000s with his opposition of violent video games, and the Grand Theft Auto franchise in particular.
Thompson’s courtroom war with Grand Theft Auto began in 2003 when he first filed suit against its publisher, Take Two Interactive, and lasted until he was disbarred in 2008. He is perhaps most famous for claiming that violent video games are used as “murder simulators” by teenagers to plan their violent shootings in real life.
Bill Paxton has done some other work in video games, having voiced Kahn in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and he is also well aware of Jack Thompson’s controversial past and emotionally charged stances on video games and culture in general. He spoke to Deadline about the character he will be playing:
He got Howard Stern kicked off the radio and took on 2 Live Crew… There’d be a gag order and he’d still go on talk shows. He would write these hateful letters to people he was litigating. He just got too emotionally caught up in it.
Rockstar has obviously recovered well from their spat with Thompson, seeing as Grand Theft Auto V made more than $800 million in just the first 24 hours of being on sale for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles in 2013. Grand Theft Auto V also released to current-gen consoles on November 18, 2014, and on Windows today, April 14. The newly-released Windows edition even comes with the Rockstar Editor where you could make your own version of the conflict between Rockstar and Thompson using GTA characters, should you feel the need to do so.
Shooting for the Grand Theft Auto drama begins in South Africa next week. Opposite Paxton in the film will be Harry Potter and Horns star Daniel Radcliffe, playing Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser.Source: Deadline