Here's the debut trailer for the BBC's Grand Theft Auto film

What lawsuit?

The BBC has released - and pulled - the debut trailer for its Grand Theft Auto drama, The Gamechangers.


As is the Internet's way, it's still available to watch. Check it out in the video below.

In the trailer we see Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar chief creative Sam Houser, and Bill Paxton as anti-video game lawyer Jack Thompson.

At one point, Radcliffe's Houser says: "We're gonna create the first truly adaptable hero."

The BBC describes Gamechangers as a "factual drama". The 90-minute film goes behind the scenes of Grand Theft Auto circa 2002, to tell the story of a three-year period "of intense controversy in the history of this iconic game's development".

The BBC's talking about Rockstar's scrap with Thompson, "a self-styled crusader for American morality" who was "determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of the game and its influence on children".

"The Gamechangers tells the story of how British game designers pushed boundaries into uncharted territory, of how those fighting GTA became consumed by a battle which overwhelmed their lives, and how the subsequent fallout threatened to bring down leading players on both sides," reads the official blurb.

The BBC says the drama is intended for an adult audience and has not been authorised by Rockstar. Instead, it says, it's based on court documents and interviews with people involved with the real events.

Back in May, Rockstar launched legal action against the BBC in response to The Gamechangers (at the time Rockstar called it "Game Changer").

The developer was attempting to disrupt the drama's release, alleging trademark infringement.

Rockstar (via parent company Take-Two) claimed it had reached an impasse with the BBC over the project, which was first announced back in March.

"While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project," Rockstar said.

"Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC's pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games.

"We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary."

Despite the legal concerns, the BBC seems determined to see The Gamechangers broadcast. It's confirmed for BBC Two on 15th September at 9pm to 10.30pm.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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