Rockstar Suing The BBC To Stop Making-of-GTA TV Movie

Rockstar Suing The BBC To Stop Making-of-GTA TV Movie

Some folks might find it flattering when the BBC decides to make a movie about the creation of their blockbuster video game franchise. Not Rockstar Games. They’re suing the British Broadcasting Company to try and halt production of a project all about the making of Grand Theft Auto.

Per a statement in an IGN report, Rockstar is filing a trademark infringement lawsuit and says they haven’t been consulted for the BBC’s upcoming movie:

“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.”

The movie in question currently has the working title of Game Changer and has cast Daniel Radcliffe in the role of Sam Houser and Bill Paxton as infamous game industry gadfly Jack Thompson.


  • If Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t stop The Social Network, I’m not sure Rockstar will be all that successful. Especially when you consider how the whole Jack Thompson thing was played out in the public domain.

    • I’m not sure they want the movie to be stopped. I think the main issue seems to be that BBC is using IP without consent.

      Remember you can’t have “gameplay footage” of The social network, but you can have gameplay footage and licenced music just to name a few things

      • They could easily make the movie without actually showing any gameplay footage or licensed music; the story is about the creation of a franchise, and the media shitstorms/controversies that followed. And the Facebook IP was used all throughout The Social Network, which, just like GTA, is an IP with legal trademarks and fair use provisions.

        • They can easily make the movie without any gameplay footage or trademark violation. That would involve them showing Rockstar to movie before release, or be in consultation during the production.

          From the Rockstar statement, it seems BBC had no consultation at all with Rockstar. So its reasonable that Rockstar pursues legal action after their attempts to contact BBC were ignored. Granted alot of the stuff behind the scenes is unbeknownst to us, the public.

          I’m pretty sure fair use is hard to argue when you’re a major television network. (unless they prove educational purposes, which BBC can and may).

          If I was Rockstar, I probably don’t really care whether the movie is out or not. But I would be a little bit annoyed that I was not told of the fact that it was being made until release.

          • They can easily make the movie without any gameplay footage or trademark violation.

            Exactly. They don’t need to show it to Rockstar for this statement to remain true. Not sure what fair use applies to. They have nothing they need to ‘fairly use’ unless they are using gameplay footage.

  • I can’t say that I blame them(Rockstar). Where is the BBC getting all their information to write the plot if Rockstar has no involvement. If I were Rockstar I would be concerned about misrepresentation.
    Good luck Rockstar!

    • Getting the info from court documents. I guess they want to be impartial about it?

      Good luck rockstar is a pretty bad attitude to have. That would mean any movie based on a true story could be shut down on a single person’s whim.

  • Bizarre. You’d think they might’ve run this by Rockstar before they’d gotten as far as casting.

  • The BBC should’ve known Rockstar is very quiet and secretive about their work and should’ve contacted them first about it

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!