Choose Your Own Adventure Company Sues Netflix Over Bandersnatch

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure

That basic idea has been translated into other mediums, like 1995's Mr. Payback, which let audiences vote on the outcome of the short film, and most recently with Bandersnatch, a film set in the Black Mirror universe and released by Netflix. It was Chooseco who initially published the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books in the '80s and '90s that young readers loved so much.

It's worth noting that Bandersnatch is certainly not the first example featuring choose-your-own-adventure styled storytelling, with various video games having incorporated choice-based storylines as well (think Until Dawn).

The lawsuit reveals that Netflix previously negotiated with Chooseco for the rights to "Choose Your Own Adventure" but a deal wasn't struck.

Bandersnatch, which aired on December 28, prompts viewers to make quick decisions for protagonist Stefan Butler, allowing them to determine the narrative.

Chooseco is demanding at least $25 million in damages or Netflix's profits, whichever figure is higher. The movie was billed as a "choose your own adventure" tale, even though the company largely refrained from actually using that phrase in the marketing. The thing is, "Choose Your Own Adventure" is a format and phrase owned by Chooseco LLC, the publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. Further, Chooseco writes, "The film's dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco's mark and tarnishes its products".

The suit also notes that 20th Century Fox recently optioned the rights to create a film based on the series, which is now in the works. And there is a part in the movie where the characters discuss the Choose Your Own Adventure books by name, so Chooseco may have a leg or two to stand on here.

When contacted by Pitchfork, representatives for Netflix offered no comment.

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