The publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure books is suing Netflix over Bandersnatch.
Variety is reporting that Chooseco LLC, the publisher of the once-popular book series, sued the streaming service in federal court on Friday for infringing on its trademark.
Bandersnatch allows viewers to make choices at points throughout the film which affect the story. There are multiple possible endings and some choices that will loop you back to an earlier point. This is a similar concept to the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the 90s, and the film even references the series’ title.
It seems like that’s where Netflix went wrong, since the lawsuit claims that they “deliberately exploited the brand awareness” to promote the show. Although Netflix reached out to license the trademark, a deal was never made. Interestingly, a deal was made with 20th Century Fox to develop an “interactive film series” of the same nature.
It’s not just the fact that Netflix used the brand, either, it’s how it was used. The current head of Chooseco, Shannon Gilligan, issued the following statement, expressing her concern over the film’s violent and dark nature:
“The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco. The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future. We would prefer not to resort to litigation, but given the damage that we will suffer as a result of the use of our mark we’ve been left with no other option.”
The lawsuit is reportedly to cover up to $25 million in damages. Netflix has not yet commented on the lawsuit.