Black Mirror’s most recent offering, the tirelessly dissected Bandersnatch, has been widely described as their “Choose Your Own Adventure” episode, finding a movie equivalent of the old books of the same name. Now the association is getting their owner Netflix in hot water: Chooseco, the company that put out nearly 200 page-jumping books between 1979 and 1998, has issued a lawsuit to the streaming giant.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Chooseco alleges that, beginning in 2016, Netflix actively pursued a license from the company. “Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license,” the complaint reads. “On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking Netflix to stop using the Choose Your Own Adventure mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program.”
The plaintiff also alleges that Netflix has been profiting off of their brand, with the press routinely making a comparison, and even the film’s hero, Fionn Whitehead’s Stefan, even describes the Bandersnatch book as “a Choose Your Own Adventure book.” Chooseco believes that viewers assume there was a collaboration between the two that doesn’t actually exist.
Chooseco is seeking $25 million in damages. Netflix has yet to respond publicly. If the lawsuit stands, then there really is no way to find a happy ending when you play Bandersnatch.