Each of the three protagonists represent what Rockstar saw as the three types of Grand Theft Auto players. Michael represents the kind of player who has beaten the game and is "retired" from a life of crime. Franklin represents the traditional protagonist of a Grand Theft Auto game who is ambitious and eager to become a successful criminal. On the other hand, Trevor represents the player who takes advantage of the game's freedom to cause chaos and mayhem.
Pay attention to Michael whenever somebody is talking on his right side, he shifts his body more towards that person. This is due to Michael's voice and motion capture actor Ned Luke being deaf in his right ear in real life.
After Luke's agent suggests him on taking part in this project, Ned Luke didn't want to take on a role due to the fact that this was an audition for a video game and not for a movie or television role. After reading over the story and script and finding more about Grand Theft Auto V, Luke became interested in auditioning for a part.
This is the first Grand Theft Auto game where the entire map is available to explore from the start of the game. Previous entries in the series have had only certain sections available until certain missions are completed. The is also the first Grand Theft Auto game where the map is one solid landmass, as compared to previous games which consisted of islands that were gradually unlocked as the story progressed.
Trevor's initial back-story was that he grew up in the rural American backwoods. However, when Canadian actor Steven Ogg was hired to voice the character, the producers decided to work Ogg's thick Canadian accent into the character. As a result, Trevor's origins were changed and the character was now purported to have grown up "near the Canadian border." Trevor's Canadian origins are something of an in-joke throughout the game, as countless characters express anti-Canadian sentiment.
Not far east of the coast of Sandy Shore, if you dive very far down (500 ft), you will see a hatch, and a light inside the light flickers on. If you get close enough, a series of noises can be heard. The noises are infact morse code, and it translates to "Hey, you never call, how d'you fancy going bowling". This is a reference to the Grand Theft Auto IV character Roman, Niko's cousin, who constantly rings him throught the game, asking to go bowling.
GTA V is the first game in the series to feature original music, a decision that was prompted by the strong reaction to the award winning score for Red Dead Redemption by Woody Jackson. Jackson is one of the composers, with the others being, Tangerine Dreams, The Alchemist & Oh No.
The new and improved world of San Andreas possesses numerous myths and mysteries to be uncovered by the players at their leisure. Among them, a few have been uncovered and proven, and are still up for investigation. -A burnt down shell of a house in Sandy Shores points to a serial killer Merle "The Infinity Killer" Abrahams. His mad scrawlings on the walls of the husk points players to the locations where he hid his victims, colloquially known as "The Infinite 8". -Gubernatorial candidate Jock Cranley's wife is said to haunt her final resting place atop Mount Gordo. -A mysterious scrawling on the wall of the Mt. Chiliad tram station points to the existence of a treasure to behold within or about the enormous landmass. It tells of a crashed spacecraft, an egg of unknown origin and function, and a piece of technology impossible to fabricate by any conventional means. Myth-hunters refer to this as "The Mount Chiliad Mystery", and believe the mountain has extraterrestrial ties - or supernatural - connections.
The main characters in-game birthplaces mirror where their voice actors were born. Michael was born in the mid-west, while his voice actor Ned Luke was born in Illinois. Franklin was born in Los Santos, while his voice actor Shawn Fonteno was born in Los Angeles (which is where Los Santos is based off of). Finally, Trevor was born in Canada near the US border, while his voice actor, Steven Ogg was born in Calgary, which is close to the US border.
Before casing the jewelry store for the heist, Michael suggests trying to round up the old crew, and everybody Lester mentions except for Moses refers to past Grand Theft Auto characters. "Those Irish crazies" most likely refer to the McRearys from Grand Theft Auto IV (2008), "that crew from the south" refers to Tommy Vercetti and his gang from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), and of course, the "eastern European guy making moves in Liberty City" refers to Niko Bellic from GTA 4. Lester also mentions that he has been "working with someone, but they're too unpredictable." A nod to the playable character in Grand Theft Auto Online, the counterpart to GTA 5.
At the end of the second trailer, the three protagonists can be seen together in different poses of disbelief. Their poses mimic the "Three Monkeys" who embody the famous phrase "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil".
The Pegassi Monroe's name is a tribute to the singer Matt Monro. Matt Monro's hit song "On Days Like These" was featured on the opening scene of The Italian Job (1969). In the opening scene a character is seen driving a Lamborghini Miura which Pegassi Monroe was based on.
A special event located at the west base of mount Chiliad shows multiple, rusty SUVs, dead corpses, guns and a briefcase the player can collect containing $25,000. This is a reference to the famous movie "No Country For Old Men" where a man stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and $2,000,000
On 3 November 2011, Rockstar Games confirmed that the game will take place in Los Santos and the surrounding countryside - rather than the entire State of San Andreas (as in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)).
One of the pre-release images published by Rockstar shows a ship registered in Los Santos named Dignity. This is a reference to the Scottish pop band Deacon Blue's song "Dignity", the lyrics refer to a blue collar council worker who has saved his money to buy a ship that he'd name Dignity.
In the mission: Cleaning Out The Bureau. when you are waiting for the janitor outside the FIB parking lot, Lester will say "That is not the car we're looking" in a familiar fashion. This is a reference to Star Wars: A New Hope.
The Pegassi Monroe's name is a tribute to the singer Matt Monro. Matt Monro's hit song On Days Like These was featured on the opening scene of The Italian Job (1969). The opening scene of The Italian Job(1969) features a Lamborghini Miura which Pegassi Monroe was based on.
It was confirmed through Rockstar that the present area the player can explore in GTA V is not the whole state of San Andreas, but just the southern island portion of it. Although the game only includes two counties: Los Santos County and Blaine County, other counties such as Paleto County and Red County are mentioned.
On the rebel radio station you can hear Jesco White say, "We're already going straight to hell, so we'll be back." This is a reference to Hank Williams III 2006 album Straight to hell, not only has Jesco White danced to the whole album with Hank III, but is a good friend of Hank III, in fact, the whole White family are great friends with the Williams family, Hank III has sang songs about the the White family, one of them is D Ray White, Jesco White's father.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The coding of the game revealed that originally in the final mission if the player chose option C: Death Wish, Franklin would've been killed off and replaced by Lamar as a playable character in the game. However, this idea was scrapped.
Niko Bellic, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV (2008), is briefly referred to by Lester in the cutscene for 'Casing the Jewel Store', whilst planning the first heist. He mentions an 'eastern European guy' who had made waves in Liberty City, but has since 'gone quiet'. Given that Niko's Lifeinvader profile can be seen on Jimmy's laptop at Michael's dining table, one can assume that Niko is still alive and is retired from organized crime (This would fit in with Niko's willingness to quit his life of crime towards the end of GTA IV's story).
The original ending for "Kill Michael", if Franklin chose to pull Michael up and not drop him, Franklin would then sacrifice himself. Michael would then call Trevor, leaving an apology voice mail. Once the credits have passed or skipped, there would be an epilogue mission where Michael and Trevor would then kill Steve Haines, and Trevor would make Devin Weston suffer a painfull death for having Franklin sacrifice himself, Denise would of called Michael saying that it should of been him with a bullet in his head and not Franklin, and Lamar would've emailed Michael saying, "My homie's dead because of you. The next time I see you, I'll kill you."
Throughout the story, all 3 of the main characters can, or have the option to kill another playable character from the Grand Theft Auto series. Trevor kills Johnny Klebitz, the playable protagonist from Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2009) . Franklin has the option to kill Trevor if he chooses the Option A ending, and Michael if he chooses Option B. Michael can optionally kill Trevor in the Option A ending.
There was a scrapped mission where Michael would task Franklin with cutting his grass and performing chores around the house for free to earn his trust as Franklin took out the Gardener during his break in to Michael's house, and originally a lot of the dialogue between Franklin and Jimmy in Father/Son is recycled dialogue from the scrapped mission, where Jimmy came out to keep Franklin company.