Take Two Interactive and Rockstar Games File Trademark Lawsuit Over BBC's Upcoming TV Movie on Grand Theft Auto

By Ryan Meitzler

May 21, 2015

While the Grand Theft Auto series has always been known for its incredibly cinematic qualities, the massively popular action series will be realizing its film potential later this year (though in an unexpected way) through an upcoming TV movie produced by BBC, though recent reports indicate some legal troubles between the BBC and the proper rights holders of the Grand Theft Auto series.

Reports indicate that Rockstar Games and parent company Take Two Interactive have collectively filed a lawsuit against BBC over the company’s upcoming Game Changers, a made-for-TV movie showing the conflicts between Rockstar Games co-founder Sam Houser and former lawyer/frequent games critic Jack Thompson: the film is reported to feature Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton as Houser and Thompson, respectively.

Take Two and Rockstar have filed a trademark infringement suit against BBC in the production of Game Changers citing that while both parties have tried to clear things up with BBC over the rightful use of its trademarks regarding the Grand Theft Auto series, neither Take Two or Rockstar have been able to reach “meaningful resolution” with BBC over the upcoming film adaptation. A full statement from Take Two details:

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.

While the suit is neither intending to either cease production or impede on the creative endeavors of the film, Rockstar Games and Take Two are still taking action to ensure that its trademarks are being not being used in a harmful way as neither company has any direct involvement in the production of BBC’s film.

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Ryan Meitzler

Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers and has been a lover of games as long as he can remember. He holds a BA in English and Cinema and lives in New York City.

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