BBC Sued for Unauthorized Grand Theft Auto TV Movie - The UpStream

BBC Sued for Unauthorized Grand Theft Auto TV Movie

posted Sunday May 24, 2015 by Scott Ertz

BBC Sued for Unauthorized <i>Grand Theft Auto</i> TV Movie

The BBC is planning, and in early production, of a TV movie entitled Game Changer, a dramatic telling of the early days of Grand Theft Auto. The story will be told in similar fashion to the Ashton Kutcher movie about Steve Jobs, complete with skipping the whole "getting authorization" thing. The movie will feature Bill Paxton as "butt-of-the-joke" former attorney Jack Thompson and Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder Sam Hauser.

That is assuming the movie actually happens. Rockstar Games' parent company, Take Two Interactive, announced Thursday that they had filed a trademark infringement suit against the BBC. If the suit goes through, it is unlikely that the BBC would actually produce the movie, likely opting for the easier road of canceling.

Take Two stressed in a statement that neither they nor Rockstar has had anything to do with the movie, saying,

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.

While any movie that features Jack Thompson is something that I would like to see, I do understand the desire to protect a brand. As with the previously mentioned Steve Jobs film, it is likely that incorrect information will be introduced into the narrative for either dramatic effect or, in Kutcher's case, to make one character more important than they really were.

The idea of having the story of your life or life's work told without any verification from you is something that makes my stomach hurt a bit, as people tend to believe what they see, no matter how obviously fake it may be. Hopefully the end result will be for the BBC and Rockstar to actually work together to produce a piece that tells the accurate story and shows Jack as the oddball he is.

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