Rockstar Games, along with video game publisher Take-Two, doesn't want the BBC to air its drama Game Changer, based on the creation of the Grand Theft Auto game series.
The 90-minute BBC drama, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton, tells the story of how Rockstar developed the video game series that brought the company to fame and fortune.
However, Rockstar ascertains that the BBC did not consult with them or Take-Two, Grand Theft Auto's publisher, when making the film, and have now filed a lawsuit against the network.
"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," says Take-Two (via GameSpot). "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 refused to comment, as this is a legal matter.
In Game Changer, Radcliffe portrays the co-creator of Grand Theft Auto, Sam Houser, with Paxton taking on the role of Jack Thompson, a lawyer who attempted to take on the game for its violent subject matter: Thompson even represented a civil lawsuit against Rockstar in 2005 when a fan of the gaming series killed three police officers. The 2012 book, Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, served as a basis for the film.
"Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama tells the story of the controversy surrounding the computer game Grand Theft Auto - arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park," writes the BBC in a press release. "Its triumph was down to a bunch of British gaming geniuses who had known each other since their school days, and at the heart of it all was GTA's creative mastermind, Sam Houser."
Filming for Game Changer is already underway and the BBC plans on releasing the drama later this year, but that could change, pending the outcome of this lawsuit.
The Grand Theft Auto series has often been targeted by critics for its depictions of sex and violence, but it remains one of the hottest selling gaming franchises of all time. Grand Theft Auto V, the most recent chapter in the franchise's history, earned over $1 billion in its first three days and became the fastest selling piece of entertainment of all time.
[Photo Credit: Rockstar Games]