Things are looking more glum than your average episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror for Netflix. The streaming giant is being sued for a hefty $25 million thanks to the recent release of the feature-length Bandersnatch.
December was a huge month for Netflix thanks to the likes of Bird Box and You, but Bandersnatch tried to ‘snatch’ the crown of Christmas cracker. Black Mirror fans didn’t get the Season 5 they were hoping for, however, the interactive special grabbed headlines and got everyone talking.
Unfortunately, Bandersnatch‘s meta take on society and real life was a little too close to home and has led to a possible copyright infringement. The complaint was filed in Vermont federal court on January 11 by the company that owns the rights to Choose Your Own Adventure.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that publishers Chooseco are taking Netflix to court. Known for its series of Choose Your Own Adventure books, Chooseco was less than impressed with Bandersnatch‘s novel approach. There are several occasions when Fionn Whitehead’s Stefan mentions the phase “Choose Your Own Adventure”, meaning the evidence is definitely there.
Chooseco apparently wrote a cease and desist letter to Netflix “on at least one occasion”, but it went unheeded. The publisher is also claiming that it’s gained “reputational harm” by being associated with the dark world of Black Mirror.
Although 20th Century Fox holds a licence on Choose Your Own Adventure from Chooseco, Netflix has apparently pursued one since 2016 but never had it finalised. Interestingly, this isn’t Netflix’s first foray into Choose Your Own Adventure territory. The Big N tested Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Adventure back in 2017.
Chooseco wants its $25 million or Netflix’s profits from the movie (whichever is greater), so Bandersnatch could be a costly experiment for Mr. Brooker and Netflix. The dystopian drama has come a long way from f*cking a pig on Channel 4 and Black Mirror remains one of Netflix’s most popular shows as a big reason to part with your cash for that monthly subscription fee.
While we wait for the Bandersnatch lawsuit to die down, it’s time to look ahead at Season 5 and wonder what horrors are coming our way next.
[Featured Image: Netflix]