Watch Daniel Radcliffe In BBC GTA Drama

The BBC have released a teaser trailer for The Gamechangers, their Grand Theft Auto docudrama. It’s got Daniel Radcliffe as co-founder and president of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser, and Bill Paxton as (now disbarred) lawyer, Jack Thompson.

In case you don’t remember or are too young for this, Thompson had a real bee in his bonnet about violent videogames, particularly GTA, and filed multiple lawsuits against its developers and publishers, at one point referring to the game as “a murder simulator“. His arguments generally revolved around the claims that games promote copycat violence and act as a space where people can train to carry out real-world violent acts.

Here’s the BBC’s summary of the project:

“The Gamechangers tells the story of how British game designers pushed boundaries into uncharted territory, of how those fighting GTA became consumed by a battle which overwhelmed their lives, and how the subsequent fallout threatened to bring down leading players on both sides.

“This drama is for an adult audience and has not been authorised by the producers of Grand Theft Auto. Rather, it is based on court documents and interviews with many of those involved in the real events behind this compelling story.”

I have watched the trailer several times. It feels like it starts with a riff on The Social Network’s trailer where Justin Timberlake knows what is cool and it is one billion dollars. They seem to have ignored his other piece of advice about dropping the word “The” from the title, though.

It then goes on to teach me that I am incapable of seeing Daniel Radcliffe as Sam Houser and cannot conceive of the footage as being for anything other than a GTA/Harry Potter crossover fanfic.

Because of diligent research I went to see if such fanfictions exist (why wouldn’t they?) and then to consume them. Or at least the first few paragraphs of them.

I accidentally ended up three chapters into Gangland rather than at the beginning so that started off with Harry at Privet Drive being belittled by Uncle Vernon’s sister, Marge. I think in the books he does illegal magic on her but here, not so much:

“‘Might remember that I’m the scariest mother fucker here.’ And he jammed the knife from dinner deep into the table, just barely missing her hand. ‘See you next year, Marge darling.'”

Then there was an original character fic that is explained thus:

“Paul just graduated from Hogwarts and he aims to fight crime in San Andreas with his magic profession. But is he messing with the wrong guys?”

I think my favourite thing about that one is that Paul’s full name is Paul Iron and he is described as “like Severus Snape on Steroids” which means I am now imagining Alan Rickman’s head on a Mighty Mouse’s body.

And finally, Grand Theft Potter. Grand Theft Potter is more of a vignette – a sniper-based prologue that was never continued into a full story but has Harry Potter as some kind of mafia Don.

“Harry Potter is the Don of the Potter Family and leader of the Wizarding Comission which consists of Five Wizarding Families Potter, Weasley, Chang, Bones and Greengrass.”

So now you know.

Harry Potter and the Series Of Lawsuits will air September 15th on BBC 2 at 9pm.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Oh dear… not sure which puns and references to go with here – there’s so much! Harry Potter jokes, or “Game over, man!”, so instead, I’ll just be useful and suggest a not-region-locked version of the trailer:

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I was thinking Gryffindor Theft Auto, since Ron steals a car in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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    distantlurker says:

    I seem to be the only person in the World who’s really looking forward to this.

  3. Iajawl says:

    Any chance of a mirror ? This is region locked.

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    johannsebastianbach says:

    Pip, you truly are a genius.

  5. Snids says:

    He looks GREAT with a beard. I’m 100% behind this.

  6. gunny1993 says:

    I’m still not sold on Radcliff being able to act, I quite like him when he’s on panel shows and stuff but I’ve never been convinced by his talent.

    He always seems to be in a state of suprise

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Which is understandable.

    • CannedLizard says:

      Speaking of panel shows, he was GREAT on Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let’s Find Out!

      • thanosi says:

        Wasn’t that Elijah Wood?

        • JFS says:

          They are bascially the same person, and both pretty much know how to act “surprise”, and not that much more.

          (Except Wood in Sin City, but you could barely see him. Coulda been anyone played that role.)

      • Kala says:

        He was thoroughly lovely on QI.

        link to

        Good actor or not (I’m horribly snobby so I’d veer toward not, in the things I’ve seen him in – He’s ok) you could reasonably expect him to be at least a *little* bit up himself, being catapulted to gargantuan levels of fame like that, but he seems so sweet and self-effacing :3

        (which does make me feel like someone’s nan. He’s a lovely young man)

    • Iajawl says:

      Please watch “A young Doctors Notebook” if you want to see him acting.

  7. sapien82 says:

    Im confused so this isn’t a documentary about Scottish game designer David Jones founder of DMA design who created the original grand theft auto , its about the Founder of Rockstar in new york who created GTA Liberty city, OH well

    • sapien82 says:

      They just decided to spice it up a bit and make it about an American who’s company bought over the original game designers who created the game!

      Bit shit really

    • RuySan says:

      I was also confused by this, thinking “Aren’t these the guys who made Lemmings, which were most probably geeks?” “Why does that screenshot looks so american?”

  8. Spacewalk says:

    Wizards With Attitude?

  9. Freud says:

    Harry Potty Mouth.

  10. racccoon says:

    I think you’ll find that the story will be amazing and the drama and acting superior.
    Its going to be a good show to watch.
    The crass talk on old stories of times past isn’t the way to look at it.
    Daniel Radcliffe is a great actor and has done some good, very hard & powerful acting since his youth career on a popular series he’s not gone thenorm he done the homework that’s why he stands out.
    I can only give him the admiration that he deserves & not the opposites which seems to the norm of some of lame quotations.
    Good on him, I say and just keep on doing it.

  11. Stevostin says:

    Apparently my brain can unharrypotter him with a very conscious, very focused effort. TBH nothing to do with poor old Radcliff, just too much Harry Potter.

  12. Kala says:

    …That trailer looked a little silly. Which is fine, but not sure that’s what they were going for.