Vermont publisher sues Netflix over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'

13 January, 2019, 00:09 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • BLACK MIRROR BANDERSNATCH from left Fionn Whitehead Will Poulter Asim Chaudhry 2018. Netflix  courtesy Everett Collection

TMZ reports the streaming giant has been hit with a $25M lawsuit by the creators of "Choose Your Own Adventure" over the latest installment in the Black Mirror series.

A Vermont children's book publisher is suing Netflix. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix's experiment in interactive television, is inspired by "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.

Moreover, Chooseco's filing revealed that as far back as 2016, Netflix had entered into discussions with the publisher over the possibility of obtaining a license that would have put them legally in the clear to use the "Choose Your Own Adventure" brand as a plot hook. The publisher is seeking at least $25 million in damages. Viewers are presented with choices as the movie about a programmer working on a video game progresses, with the filmmakers reportedly having shot some 5 hours of footage to encompass all the potential alternatives that viewers can select.

Black Mirror creators may have wanted viewers to choose their own adventure on Bandersnatch, but they ended up somewhere unexpected-in a lawsuit with the owners of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark. 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.


Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox now holds an "options contract to develop an interactive series" and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016.

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.

Chooseco claims that Netflix made a concerted to connect the audience with the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s books.

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

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