The ever-twisted, "Choose Your Own Adventure" movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has certainly been a hit for Netflix, but that doesn't mean everyone in the world is happy about the success. In fact, just a couple of weeks after its debut, Bandersnatch is already at the center of a lawsuit directed at Netflix.
Per Variety, Vermont-based book publisher Chooseco LLC is suing Netflix for the advertising campaign surrounding Bandersnatch, specifically the used of the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure." It was Chooseco who initially published the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books in the '80s and '90s that young readers loved so much.
The lawsuit claims that Netflix "deliberately exploited" the brand awareness of the book series in order to launch the show. Essentially, the company believes that Netflix chose that specific marketing because it was register nostalgia in the minds of users, thanks to the success of the books. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.
Chooseco is seeking $25 million from Netflix in damages with the lawsuit. The company states that Netflix actually sought a license to use the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark at some point in the last couple of years, but the negotiations never actually resulted in a finalized deal. Additionally, the suit suggests that 20th Century Fox has optioned the rights to develop films based on these books.
One of the main points in Chooseco's argument comes from the dialogue of the movie itself. While describing his Bandersnatch video game - which is an allegory for the film as a whole - main character Stefan says, "It's a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book." This claim is essentially saying that the writers knew of the popularity of the books, so they used the trademark in the dialogue to help explain it to audiences, as well as the film's characters.2comments
According to Variety, Netflix did not respond to a request for comment.
Do you think Chooseco has a point with this lawsuit? Or is this just another company trying to get a piece of the Netflix pie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!