Rockstar Games Files Lawsuit Against BBC Over Grand Theft Auto Biopic
Rockstar Games' parent company, Take-Two Interactive, has filed a lawsuit against the British Broadcasting Corporation over its upcoming Grand Theft Auto TV drama.
Take-Two Interactive is suing the BBC in regards to its unauthorized, made-for-TV movie, Game Changer, which is a dramatized retelling of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games' history, as well as its rise to success and ongoing controversies. Principal photography on the project has already started last month, with Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and Titanic actor Bill Paxton starring in two of the movies' lead roles. Radcliffe was said to be portraying Sam Houser, the British co-founder of Rockstar Games, while Paxton was starring as the activist attorney Jack Thompson, who spent many years trying to ban and protest the GTA series. Directed by Owen Harris and written by James Wood, production on this film is already well underway.
Here's what a Take-Two Interactive representative said to Polygon in regards to this lawsuit:
Take-Two Interactive has filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie currently titled ‘Game Changer' as it relates to Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto video game series.
While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project. Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC's pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games. We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary.
Unfortunately, the BBC has yet to make any kind of public statement or response in regards to the lawsuit. It's rather strange that the British Broadcasting Corporation didn't seek any kind of permission from Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive in regards to the creation of this movie before they started filming. The movie itself is based on Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, a book about Rockstar and GTA's history written by David Kushner. This makes us wonder if Kushner had permission to write the book and whether or not he could be the target of another lawsuit.
You can't tell a good GTA story without any lawsuits or controversy, right? The BBC better look up Ken Rosenberg's phone number.