Apple Sued Over the Tetris Movie

The Tetris Effect writer says his book was adapted without his consent.

Earlier this year, Apple TV+ released Tetris, which had a screenplay written by Noah Pink. The movie was based on the real-world events that surrounded the video game's original release, and the film received positive reviews. However, the film was not the first re-telling of those events, as Dan Ackerman's book The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World did just that in 2016. Apple, The Tetris Company, and Noah Pink are now being sued over the film by Ackerman, who claims that elements of his book were adapted without his consent.

In the lawsuit, Ackerman claims that he sent a pre-production copy of his book to The Tetris Company ahead of publication. According to his filing, the company refused to license out the game's name or imagery for any media based on the book, and "sent a strongly worded Cease and Desist" to Ackerman to prevent him from pursuing an adaptation, despite "numerous film and television producers" showing an interest. Following that, Ackerman immediately ceased any attempt to have the book adapted, but a movie based on the same events laid out in the book was announced in 2020.

Ackerman's lawsuit goes on to claim that after preventing him from pursuing an adaptation, the book was given to Noah Pink to be adapted into a screenplay, despite the fact that Pink "was unknown within the film industry and had no screenwriting credits to his name" at the time. The lawsuit claims that "the Tetris film is substantially similar in almost all material respects including specific chapters and pages of said book that were simply adopted from the book to the film."

In the lawsuit, Ackerman is seeking "actual and compensatory damages in an amount equal to 3% of the total production budget" from Tetris, as well as "punitive damages equal to 3% of the total production budget." It remains to be seen whether the case will prove successful for Ackerman, and if he will be able to prove that his work was intentionally copied for the film.

Did you read The Tetris Effect? Do you think it was used as the basis for the movie? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

[H/T: The Guardian, Scribd]