In case you hadn’t heard, the BBC is working on a Grand Theft Auto movie and it, by all accounts, is progressing nicely. Or was up until the moment Rockstar Games slapped the BBC with a lawsuit. The lawsuit was recently filed against the BBC by Take-Two Interactive, which is Rockstar Games’ parent company. The reasons revolve around trademark infringement, and according to a statement Take-Two tried to work things out with the BBC before resorting to the legal route. Apparently the talks did not go well.
The BBC movie is set to star Bill Paxton and Daniel Radcliffe, and will be a drama highlighting the game franchises inception and growing success alongside the bitter battle waged by the former attorney Jack Thompson. Thompson had been against violent video games of this sort, and targeted the Grand Theft Auto franchise back in 2003.
The BBC’s legal trouble is coming from Rockstar Games’, however, with its parent company filing a lawsuit against the network today in London. The company laid out its reasoning for the lawsuit in a statement to IGN recently, saying it had no involvement with the ongoing movie project, and that it tried “multiple times to resolve” its issues with the BBC directly. No resolution came about, however.
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.