The BBC is lining up a Hollywood icon for a key – somewhat villainous – role in its upcoming drama about Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto series.

Bill Paxton of Aliens and Apollo 13 fame is "in negotiations" to play former lawyer Jack Thompson, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Thompson had numerous run-ins with Rockstar and its open-world crime series in the noughties during and after the releases of GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas. He attempted on numerous occasions to remove the games from sale as part of a moral crusade that extends to other games and mediums. Thompson was disbarred in 2008 for inappropriate conduct.

A report earlier in April by The Hollywood Reporter linked Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe to the lead role of Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, adding the drama would not be about the creation of the series but instead its boom in popularity and the video game company's run-ins with Thompson.

Owen Harris, the British director of multiple episodes of E4's Misfits and Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror for Channel 4, is said to be at the helm of the feature-length drama, which is set to start filming in April.

The script will be based on David Kushner's book Jacked: The Outlaw Story Of Grand Theft Auto.