Rockstar is pursuing legal action against the BBC, over the broadcasting company’s upcoming film Game Changer.
The film chronicles the struggle between the Grand Theft Auto maker and laywer Jack Thompson. The BBC has previously called Grand Theft Auto “arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park.” But, following an impasse between the two, Rockstar (via it’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive) is now getting the lawyers involved.
In a statement regarding the matter, given to IGN, reads: “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,” the statement continues. “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.”
The BBC’s response to IGN was simply “We do not comment on legal matters.”
Originally scheduled to be aired later this year, it remains to be seen whether the BBC will be allowed to continue with broadcasting the film as planned – depending on the outcome of the case, it may still be able to release, but without reference to Grand Theft Auto. That might be a problem, since the film specifically follows Jack Thompson as he (repeatedly) takes legal action against Take-Two Interactive, claiming that Grand Theft Auto promotes and inspires real-life violence.
According to the BBC, Game Changer “tells the story of an extraordinary chapter in the history of [Grand Theft Auto], and reveals the major impact it has had on our cultural landscape.” Daniel Radcliffe is set to portray Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser, while the role of Jack Thompson is to be played by Bill Paxton.