From hammer-wielding LA ‘Susan’ to the Miami Joker and Bonnie and Clyde: How GTA6 trailer appears to portray infamous real-life characters who ‘inspired’ the new game

  • The series has been criticised for its treatment of women and LGBTQ people  

Millions of gamers were sent into a frenzy today as they caught their first glimpse of Grand Theft Auto 6 – with the hotly-anticipated blockbuster game appearing to feature cameos from some real-life infamous characters. 

The trailer for the latest installment of the outrageous, critically acclaimed,  crime shooter – famed for its debauched gameplay and unfettered violence – was released by Rockstar Games ahead of its 2025 release. 

The franchise – celebrated for its tongue-in-cheek take on real-life characters – also appears to mock a number of real larger-than-life characters the 90-second teaser of the latest game in the series.

In one scene, fans are shown a foul-mouthed woman in a pink night dress brandishing two hammers – who bears a striking similarity to a woman who went viral in Los Angeles in 2020, dubbed ‘LA Susan’. 

Footage of the enraged woman smashing up her neighbour’s car in the Californian state with two hammers became an internet sensation as she yells at a witnesses to ‘get the f**k out of this neighborhood’ and ‘go back to Mexico’.

GTA VI appears to poke fun at the woman, with their hammer-wielding character snarling ‘well looks who’s back’, with the caption ‘Neighbourhood watch don’t play around in Hamlet’ – in a nod to LA Susan’s vitriolic outburst. 

‘GTA VI’ will be released in 2025 and set in fictional Vice City, reminiscent of Miami, appearing to feature the first playable female character in the franchise

GTA VI appears to mock the ‘LA Susan’ (right) who went viral in 2020 for her foul-mouthed outburst 

There even appears to be a GTA-style take on a notorious Florida man dubbed the ‘Joker’ for his series of facial tattoos resembling the iconic Batman villain – played by the late Heath Ledger (and more recently by Napoleon star, Joaquin Phoenix). 

GTA VI’s ‘Joker’ is pictured briefly during the game’s trailer, appearing in a court wearing orange prison fatigues and bares a striking resemblance to Miami criminal Lawrence Sullivan.

READ MORE: LA ‘Susan’ is caught on camera smashing up neighbor’s car with two hammers and telling them to ‘go back to Mexico

Sullivan’s elaborate body art includes bloody stitches on each side of his mouth, making it appear as if his cheeks had been sliced open and then sewn up; a small cross; a teardrop; the word ‘Joker’ etched into his forehead, as well as the Batman symbol with the words, ‘F*** Batman.’

He went viral when he was caught in Pinellas County after a warrant was issued in Miami-Dade County for a concealed-carry firearms offence. 

‘Ha, Ha, Ha’ is tattooed below his right eye and there’s a ‘666’ carved in front of his right ear.

There is also upside-down cross between his eyes. He also has tattoos of a sword, a marijuana leaf, the Grim Reaper and Freddy Krueger.

In 2017, a year before his notorious detainment, he was arrested on similar weapons charges for allegedly pointing a gun at passing cars.

At the time, witnesses described the him as having bright green hair and striking facial tattoos that made him look like the Joker character played by the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight blockbuster. He was later found by cops with a Smith & Wesson pistol loaded with six rounds 

GTA VI’s ‘Joker’-style villain (left) is pictured briefly during the game’s trailer, appearing in a court wearing orange prison fatigues. He bares a striking resemblance to Florida criminal Lawrence Sullivan, famed for his elaborate facial tattoos honouring the Batman villain (right)

READ MORE: Florida man, 30, tattooed to look like Batman villain The Joker is arrested AGAIN on new gun charges just eighteen months after he last fell foul of the law

Grand Theft Auto VI is set to be led by Lucia, the first female antihero in the long-running series. She is due to be joined by her yet unnamed partner-in-crime as they tear up Vice City – which resembles Miami, in Florida. 

But fans of the gaming franchise were quick to compare the pair to infamous American robbers, Bonnie and Clyde. 

The pair met in Texas in 1930 and are believed to have committed 13 murders and several robberies and burglaries by the time they died in 1934.

In true GTA-style, the infamous pair travelled across America’s Midwest and South, holding up banks and stores with other gang members. 

The public were enamored with them as they gained headlines for evading the authorities in shoot-outs and making daring getaways.

Bonnie and Clyde began their two-year crime spree in 1932, ruthlessly robbing banks and small businesses and killing anyone who got in their way. 

After evading the cops countless times, their luck ran out in 1934 when on Highway 54 in Louisiana, they were ambushed by officers who fired 107 rounds of bullets in less than two minutes. 

The pair of shotgun-wielding gangster’s bodies were obliterated by the onslaught, with both corpses riddled with about 50 gunshot holes each.  

The trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 has been released, with the two new protagonists being compared to infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde 

Bonnie and Clyde began their two-year crime spree in 1932, ruthlessly robbing banks and small businesses and killing anyone who got in their way.

Grand Theft Auto is famed for is debauched gameplay, with previous installments allowing players to partake in x-rated sex scenes with prostitutes, drug deals and unfettered violent killing sprees. 

And the new game appears to stick close to its shocking roots, with the latest clip showing women having cash thrown over their bodies in strip clubs, posing in bikinis and twerking in skimpy clothes on top of moving cars.

Drug deals, violent shoot-ups and police raids also feature in the new trailer – as well as boat parties, arrests and illegal car stunt gatherings. 

The early release of the clip, prompted by a leak online, came on the eve of Tuesday’s scheduled first glimpse for GTA VI.

‘Our trailer has leaked so please watch the real thing,’ Rockstar Games, the company behind GTA, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The video skyrocketed to 50 million views on YouTube in just nine hours – and is on track to become the most watched video in a single day on the platform, a record held by Korea pop group BTS for their 2020 ‘Dynamite’ video, which hit 101million views in 24 hours.

The franchise was criticized for its treatment of women, minorities and LGBTQ people

The game appears to have remained true to its outrageous roots, with one scene showing a woman twerking on the top of a car 

The first trailer for ‘Grand Theft Auto VI’ was officially released ahead of schedule December 4

‘I feel like this GTA will lean much more into the absurdity of America, much more than GTA V did,’ wrote a member of a Reddit forum devoted to spotting references in the trailer.

‘Oh absolutely,’ replied another member of the forum.

‘Florida is the #1 craziest place in America, a place where you can get an AR-15 (assault rifle) and a free turkey with a roofing service. I’m so hyped.’

Set to the Tom Petty song ‘Love Is A Long Road,’ the GTA VI trailer opens with a female character named Lucia being released from prison in what appears to be Florida.

In one scene an alligator walks in through the front doors of a corner store. In another, a woman in a bathing suit is twerking on the roof of a moving car.

Near the close of the one-minute-and-30-second trailer, the Lucia character tells her male partner in crime: ‘The only way we are going to get through this, is by sticking together, being a team.’

The pair go on to burst into a store with pistols drawn and bandanas covering the lower halves of their faces. 

The trailer appears to feature the first playable female character in the franchise

The early release of the trailer, prompted by a leak online, came on the eve of Tuesday’s scheduled first glimpse for GTA VI

The trailer for GTA 6 is on track to become the most watched YouTube video in a single day

Critics have from the beginning accused the series of glorifying violence and encouraging players to engage in criminal behaviour

READ MORE: Grand Theft Auto VI CONFIRMED: Rockstar Games set to release first trailer ‘early December’ that will show the franchise’s first woman protagonist

Fans were quick to infer the scene meant rumors of a ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ type crime couple, with GTA’s first playable female character, are coming true.

‘Major Bonnie and Clyde vibes,’ one member of the Reddit forum noted.

‘Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences,’ Rockstar founder Sam Houser said in a statement.

Released a decade ago, GTA V has sold around 190 million copies, according to Rockstar-parent Take-Two Interactive, making it the best-selling game in the United States for the past decade based on both unit and dollar sales.

The entire GTA franchise has sold a mammoth 410 million units so far, according to Take-Two.

Its roots go back to the first game, released in 1997 as a violent top-down shooter on the PlayStation. Since then it has critically-acclaimed series has grown to become a blockbusting behemoth, enjoyed by millions and defining a generation of gamers. 

Wedbush analyst Nick McKay estimated that predecessor GTA V and an ongoing, online multiplayer extension of the game have brought in nearly $10 billion in revenue.

Police raids, car crashes, arrests, and illegal car stunt gatherings feature in the new trailer 

Boat raids are also shown in the latest clip for the open-world crime game 

The trailer also depicts people throwing wild boat parties in a city reminiscent of Miami 

The original Grand Theft Auto was released in 1997

It sparked controversy with is bloody gameplay and violence 

With the wild success has come a wave of controversies.

Critics have from the beginning accused the series of glorifying violence and encouraging players to engage in criminal behavior – allegations Take-Two executives have denied.

GTA V players sell drugs, fight, rob, go on car rampages and more. Gameplay options also included assaulting prostitutes and going to strip clubs, raising the ire of activists.

GTA V included transgender characters, but ‘they were sex workers that were grotesque caricatures of transgender women,’ said Blair Durkee, associate director of gaming at nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD.

And the game introduced players to experience sex with a prostitute from a first-person perspective as they moaned some outrageous, x-rated things- in an eyebrow-raising first for the game.

Videos of players beating those trans characters with baseball bats in the game can readily be found online, according to Durkee.

The game also sparked outrage by allowing people to take part in a brutal ‘torture’ scene in which in which the player must pull teeth and dish out electric shock to an unarmed man. 

Players in GTA V were able to have sex with a prostitute in the first person for the first time 

GTA V sparked outrage by allowing players to play a ‘torture scene’ towards the end of the game

Players were tasked with pulling out teeth and dishing out electric shocks to a man 

Human rights groups condemned the violence, with the likes of Freedom from Torture joined Amnesty, teachers’ union the ATU and MP Keith Vaz in slamming the scene, just two days after the release of the game.

Players of the 18-rated shooter become career criminal Trevor Phillips, and in a mission within the game called ‘By the Book’ are commanded by the FBI to torture an alleged terrorist for information.

Players must complete the scene to finish the game and are offered a selection of torture implements, including sledgehammers and electric cables to use on the victim. If his heart stops, a shot of adrenaline restarts it.

‘We certainly hope that GTA VI will reflect a more inclusive attitude toward LGBTQ characters and players,’ Durkee said.

GTA protagonists have historically been flawed but likeable characters in a virtual world ‘that takes its cues from the craziness of what we read about in the news every day,’ according to McKay.

The release of GTA V a decade ago came with the launch of an online multiplayer option.

‘I can play according to the main storyline, or I can just explore the world and cause mayhem to fill the time,’ McKay said.

‘Very little is off limits to the player.’

Grand Theft Auto III also reveled in its fair share of outrage, and went on to receive the ‘Most Offensive Game of the Year’ title after its 2001 release. 

GTA III was the first in the franchise to take place in a 3D environment 

It clinched the Most Offence Game of the Year when it was released in 2001

The first to allow players to roam a 3D world, it introduced players to mowing down crowds on the street in their cars and picking up sex workers. 

The car would bounce around and by the end of it, players would notice that their health had gone up and some money had been taken. 

The gameplay proved controversial with parents, who slammed Rockstar for introducing the feature.  

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