Netflix sued over Black Mirror by Choose Your Own Adventure publisher

Brenda Watkins
January 13, 2019

But according to Chooseco, that didn't stop Netflix from allegedly using the Choose Your Own Adventure term in its marketing for another TV program. 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. Because of the use of the phrase, Chooseco is asking for either $25 million in damages or all profits from Bandersnatch.

In the film a video programmer starts to question reality when he adapts a writer's fantasy novel into a game, and viewers are asked to pick outcomes for the protagonist.

The big gimmick associated with Netflix's buzzy Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch is that it's very much a choose your own adventure kind of production. According to THR, Chooseco accused Netflix of confusing people, with many reportedly linking the publishers to the dark flick. The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed. In doing so, Chooseco claims, Netflix implies that the book in Bandersnatch is an official part of the series. In addition, the claim points out that 20th Century Fox actually holds an option contract with Chooseco "to develop an interactive film series based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books". The film gets bloody and violent, which is part of the reason Chooseco has chosen to sue, claiming the disturbing nature is inappropriate for young readers and that the adult imagery "tarnishes" the Choose Your Own Adventure brand. Rival studio 20th Century Fox now holds the option to develop a Choose Your Own Adventure interactive series with Chooseco.

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After R.A. Montgomery, the original publisher and author of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, passed away in 2014, his widow Shannon Gilligan took over the company.

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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