Rockstar Is Suing The BBC to Stop The GRAND THEFT AUTO TV Series
Looks like the new Grand Theft Auto TV show might have just been wasted.
For those who don't know, the BBC was working on a 90-minute series with the working title of Game Changer that would have followed the creation of and controversy surrounding Rockstar's popular Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, and they already had Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton lined up to play the main parts. Radcliffe was to play Rockstar president Sam Houser while Paxton would have been U.S. lawyer Jack Thompson, a shady guy who wanted to ban video game violence. Production began on April 20th, so they may have even already finished shooting by now, but there's a chance the project may never make it to audiences, because Rockstar Games' parent company, Take-Two Interactive, has filed suit against the BBC.
Rockstar released a statement to IGN explaining their reasons for suing:
"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."
So it sounds like it's mainly a matter of protecting their trademarks. But others have surmised that Rockstar is trying to suppress the project because they don't look very good in it, so there could be some ulterior motives at play here that we don't fully know about. With only a very basic understanding of the show's storyline, though, it sounds like Thompson would be the one who would come off as the crazier one, but I haven't read the script, so I can't say for certain what, if anything, might make Rockstar look bad.
I hope they get this all figured out, because I'd love to see this story told on the small screen. It has a great cast and it's an interesting story that not a lot of people know, so it'd be a shame if it was stifled completely.