Hollywood director and writer Frank Darabont was working on a TV show called LA Noir, which, aside from having a similar name to Rockstar’s 2011 adventure, was also set in Los Angeles circa 1947, the same year the game begins. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he says he’s had to change the name after Rockstar “threatened to sue the shit out of me”. Update: Take-Two denies in a statement.
In an interview with our pals at io9, Darabont — who, aside from his Hollywood hits like Green Mile, got the Walking Dead TV series off and running — says of the show:
Yes, it was going to be called L.A. Noir, based on the book by John Buntin. But the video game company with the video game called L.A. Noire (with an e!) threatened to sue the shit out of me, TNT, every company that actually ever worked in Hollywood. And they have the billions of dollars to back it up, apparently. So we’re changing the title, and I do believe the title is going to be Lost Angels. This is being announced right here. It’s a very, very cool show. It’s [set in] 1947 LA and it stars my very dear friend Jon Bernthal, whom I worked with on The Walking Dead who is now free of that…
Something tells me they wouldn’t have needed billions of dollars in legal fees to win that one, no matter how unintentional Darabont’s title idea was, but sometimes a company likes to flex its guns a little.
We’ve contacted Rockstar for comment and will update if we hear back.
Update: Rockstar PR deferred to Alan Lewis, a spokesperson for publisher Take-Two, who said:
It’s unfortunate that Mr Darabont finds it necessary to gain publicity by making inaccurate statements -– Take-Two never contacted Mr Darabont nor threatened to sue any party. The facts are that Take-Two reached out to Turner to express concern over confusion between the properties and they responded that they had decided to change the title of the show independent of Take-Two’s concerns.