BBC issues trailer for Grand Theft Auto docudrama, despite Rockstar’s objections

The British Broadcasting Corporation has released a trailer for The Gamechangers, an upcoming film that explores the success story behind Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series.

Rockstar isn’t pleased with the results, however. Publisher Take-Two has filed suit against the BBC in an attempt to halt the film’s release, citing an “obligation to protect our intellectual property.”

The Gamechangers offers a fictionalized take on Grand Theft Auto‘s development and release, casting Daniel Radcliffe as the game’s creator, Sam Houser. Radcliffe stars opposite Bill Paxton, who plays a stand-in for real-world lawyer and anti-video game crusader Jack Thompson.

The film was made without series developer Rockstar’s involvement or approval, and reportedly bases its plot on David Kushner’s novel Jacked: The Outlaw Story Of Grand Theft Auto. Speaking to GamesRadar+ earlier this year, Grand Theft Auto‘s writer, Brian Baglow, expected the results to be “based on a grab bag of archive materials, old interviews, maybe David Kushner’s exciting novelization and the screenwriters’ ideas of what it’s like to work in the white heat of cutting edge game development.”

Likely fearing an unsympathetic portrayal of Rockstar’s staff, publisher Take-Two took legal action in the months leading up to The Gamechangers‘ launch. Take-Two’s legal proceedings have not affected the film’s release, however, and The Gamechangers will be broadcast as planned.

“Take-Two Interactive has filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie [The GameChangers], as it relates to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto video game series,” Take-Two’s suit states. “While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project.”

Take-Two’s legal document 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 Gamechangers will air on BBC Two on September 15.

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