Twenty-two years ago, Eminem was arguably the biggest star in the world. His artistry, controversial subject matter, intriguing family dynamics, and innovative lyrical delivery made his third studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, the best-selling release of 2000. One year later, Rockstar Games revolutionized the gaming industry with Grand Theft Auto III. The racy concepts, sexual content, and cutting-edge storylines made Grand Theft Auto III the best-selling game of 2001. On the surface, if ever there was a rapper and a video game series that was seemingly made for one another, it would be hard to argue against the pairing of Eminem and GTA. Both entities were established around the same time. Eminem debuted in 1997, and the makers of GTA established their video game publishing company in 1998.

According to reports, one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time had the chance to join forces with the best-selling rapper of all time back in 2001, when the developers of GTA were approached about making a special version of the game centered around the Detroit-based rapper. Sam and Dan Houser were reportedly offered $5 million to orchestrate the project, but they declined. Jim Ewing, the director of Earthworm Jim, recently recounted his involvement in the would-be project during an appearance on the Bugzy Malone Podcast.

“This was just after Grand Theft Auto 3. And I think, at that point, it was still in Sam’s mind that it might be something that he wanted to do," Ewing recalled. "I remember taking a call at about 4 a.m. from one of the producers in LA with an offer to make a film. And he said, ‘Kirk, we’ve got Eminem to star, and it’s a Tony Scott film, $5 million on the nose. Are you interested? At that point, they withdrew from any conversation about making a film when they realized that the media franchise that they had was bigger than any movie that was going on at the time.”

The decision came during Eminem's heyday, around the time when he won a Grammy Award for The Marshall Mathers LP and an Academy Award for the 8 Mile film. If the GTA movie had gone into production during the 2000s, it likely would have been directed by the director of the original Top Gun film, Tony Scott.

Source: MSN