Black Mirror is a British anthology series which was recently released as a movie adaptation on Netflix, called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. The movie received much hype for it’s intertwining chords of horror and science fiction and has been trending on the official site.
But the publishers of the book series Choose your own adventure publisher Bantam Books has sued Netflix citing the similarities between the movie and the series. They claimed that Netflix is using the association with the much popular book series to increase the viewership of the Black Mirror series.
In Bandersnatch, viewers get to make various decisions which affect the story-line. This, in turn, affects the outcome of what they encounter. The Choose your own adventure book series which falls under the gamebook genre is published by Bantam books and has similar thread in them. Here, the story narrated from a second person point of view and has the reader as the protagonist who makes choices to determine the final outcome.
This has made Chooseco file a lawsuit against Netflix in a Vermont court. Moreover, Chooseco is upset by the fact that Bandersnatch is so dark that there is a possibility that it might tarnish the reputation Choose your own adventure series has.
It also has issues with the lead character of ‘Bandersnatch’ describing a fictitious novel as part of the Choose your own adventure series. This low-key implies that it is an official part of the series.
Bandersnatch can be classified as a dark film with references to depictions of demonic presence, violent fighting, drug use, murder, decapitation, mutilation of corpses and other rather upsetting imagery. Chooseco believes any kind of association with such grim and depressing content can affect their trademark in an obvious negative manner.
The complaint has also claimed that Netflix had tried to license the Choose your own adventure brand back in 2016. According to various reports, both the companies had gone through extensive negotiations but Netflix failed to procure the license.
Chooseco also stated that it had issues with Netflix even before regarding some other show and had sent Netflix notices about it. Though Netflix has not yet made much of a comment regarding the allegations and the lawsuit, this has led to people questioning the originality of the content in a subtle manner.
Moreover, in addition to the ‘Bandersnatch’ case, Netflix has just recently settled a rather similar lawsuit. The Satanic temple ( a non-theistic religious and political activist group based in Salem) had filed a lawsuit against Netflix. They accused them of copying various elements of its Baphomet design in the popular series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Netflix is one of the most popular websites in the media and entertainment industry. Though this might not affect its viewership, it has created a black mark in the credibility of the website. It can be said that the PR team of the popular streaming service had to be on their toes recently with back-to-back lawsuits against the website.