|Grand Theft Auto character|
|First appearance||Grand Theft Auto V (2013)|
|Last appearance||Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)|
|Created by||Rockstar North|
|Occupation||Gang banger |
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Franklin Clinton is a fictional video game character, and is one of the three main protagonists and playable characters of 2013's Grand Theft Auto V, along with Michael De Santa and Trevor Philips, published by Rockstar Games. Part of the Chamberlain Gangster Families, Franklin is a gang banger who has ambitions to make big money.
Franklin is the second African-American playable character in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, after Carl "CJ" Johnson.
Franklin works a semi-legitimate job as a repossession agent for Simeon Yetarian, who owns a luxury car dealership. Franklin works with his best friend Lamar Davis, also a gang banger who clashes with Franklin's cynical attitude about the gang life. Simeon orders Franklin to retrieve a vehicle bought by Jimmy De Santa, but while driving the car back to the dealership, Jimmy's father Michael holds a gun up to Franklin's head, and orders him to smash the window of the dealership, which in turn leads to Franklin's firing. Impressed by Michael's professional criminality, Franklin seeks Michael out for possible work, and Michael sees great potential in Franklin, and later employs him in jobs, including many heists.
At first,Franklin lives with his selfish aunt Denise, but moves out when Lester offers him a large house in ritzy Vinewood Hills. Franklin clashes with Harold "Stretch" Joseph, a Families OG that believes he can give Franklin orders due to his higher status in the gang, a notion that Franklin scoffs at. Lamar often brings Franklin into dangerous deals organised by Stretch, angering Franklin and causing a rift between the two friends. When Franklin refuses to help rescue Lamar from another deal gone bad, Franklin's ex-girlfriend Tanisha makes Franklin realise that his new wealthy life is too isolated and materialistic, and he needs to be concerned about people from his old life. Franklin saves Lamar, deducing that Stretch switched allegiance to the Ballas, a rival gang, and is constantly setting up deals so he and Lamar will be killed.
Franklin never seems to be sided with either Michael or Trevor during their stage of arguments; he consistently attempts to keep the two calm, but notices their flaws, such as Michael's selfish ego and Trevor's psychopathic nature. Near the end of the game, Franklin is ordered by Steve Haines to kill Trevor, however he is also ordered by Devin Weston to kill Michael, and the player must then make a choice: complete one of the orders, or go after Steve and Devin. If the latter is chosen, Franklin, Michael and Trevor attack FIB and Merryweather crews, and then kill Wei Cheng, Stretch, Steve and Devin.
The special ability that Franklin can use is the ability to slow down time while driving.
Starting out as a repo man, Franklin eventually runs into Michael De Santa, whom introduces Franklin into the world of organized crime. He will have to deal with his old lifestyle and his gangbanger past-life, such as helping his friend Lamar. He can buy properties and build his own empire, along with interacting with Lamar's dog, Chop. He also engages in towing and racing.
Franklin is voiced by Shawn Fonteno. Fonteno has claimed to have lived "the life" of Franklin; saying: "I was able to add a lot to this character because once I read it and I understood what he was going through, it was pretty much the life I had lived. So it was pretty easy. It wasn’t hard. I landed right into [it] and we merged into one entity.".
Geek.com ranked Franklin as the sixth greatest Grand Theft Auto protagonist of all time; stating: "Franklin is the glue that holds the main trio of GTAV together. He is the only one who is able to calm Michael and Trevor down whenever the two get into a dispute. Franklin stays focused on the task at hand and makes sure everyone follows suit. At the same time, he is also somewhat self-conscious. This is due to how his life-long friends and family see him as a “sell-out” even though he’s constantly protecting them. Franklin is a multi-layered character, that’s for certain."
Xav de Matos of Joystiq found all three characters unlikable to the extent that they had an alienating effect on the story, noting that "though each character has a valid motivation for his journey, it's difficult to want them to succeed." He also felt that the ambivalence between Trevor and Michael was a tired device by the conclusion of the story as it became a "seemingly endless cycle" of conflict between them.
- "24 Things That Were Cut From GTA V". ScreenRant.com. March 14, 2019.
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Franklin and Lamar")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Repossession")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Jewel Store Job")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Merryweather Heist")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Hotel Assassination")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Long Stretch")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Hood Safari")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "Lamar Down")
- Grand Theft Auto V (Mission: "The Third Way"; Option C: Deathwish)
- Aziz, Hamza (2 May 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V: Everything is bigger and better". Destructoid. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- Crecente, Brian (September 17, 2013). "Here's what the three stars of GTA 5 look like in real life". Polygon.com.
- "Exclusive: Shawn Fonteno, the Voice and Likeness of GTA V's Franklin Clinton, Talks with The Source". Thesource.com. October 13, 2013.
- "What GTA V's main characters look like in real life". Geek.com. September 17, 2013.
- "GTA V Actor Shawn Fonteno Lived the Life of Franklin Clinton". Gamecrate.com.
- "The Greatest Grand Theft Auto Protagonists of All Time". Geek.com. December 4, 2017.
- de Matos, Xav (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review: How to take it in America". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
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