Shawshank Redemption director claims Take-Two threatened to "sue the sh*t out of me" for naming his new TNT TV show L.A. Noir.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Take-Two issued a statement denying Frank Darabont's claims. The full statement is available here.
The original story follows below
The next project from The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont was going to be a TV show on TNT called L.A. Noir, but Take-Two reportedly took issue with that. Speaking to i09, Darabont claimed the game company pressed legal action on him over his show's similarity to 2011's L.A. Noire, forcing him to change the name to Lost Angels.
"Yes, it was going to be called L.A. Noir, based on the book by John Buntin. But the video game company with the video game called L.A. Noire (with an e!) threatened to sue the sh*t out of me, TNT, every company that actually ever worked in Hollywood," Darabont said.
"And they have the billions of dollars to back it up, apparently. So we're changing the title, and I do believe the title is going to be Lost Angels."
In addition to featuring a name similar to L.A. Noire, Darabont's show is set in 1947 Los Angeles, the same time period of the game.
A Take-Two representative declined to comment.
Frank Darabont is awesome they should have come to an understanding or made some sort of deal, L.A. Noir is an amazing book also and it's a fitting name for a show based in 1947 L.A.
If anything it would have only given the game more publicity
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I'm surprised they didn't go after Sons of Anarchy after the Lost and the Damned! near identical story basis! ... hmm.. must play through that again actually
For the first time in many cases, a potential lawsuit that is actually warranted. It's simple. EA already took the name. Anything else with the same name that isn't licensed is considered infringement.
Instead of suing, why in the hell can they not hash out some sort of deal that would benefit everone involved? I don't get it. I also can't stand the sue happy society we have nowadays.
@tightwad34 Dude it's pretty standard shit. If some fucko's suddenly started making a tv series entitled 'grand theft auto' withoout r*'s consent, you better believe they'd sue their asses of. Its not their property plain and simple.
@tightwad34 Yeah, to me this seems like a missed opportunity, if the show is any good, that's advertising that someone is paying you for. I would have definitely been looking in to extra cash flow, increased game sales for a game that has some cobwebs on it now, and an easy opportunity for extra hype building when they undoubtedly release a sequel. If the show's bad however, f*** it, they made the right choice.
It's not rocket science. The only way a TV series will be allowed to have the same name as the game is by acquiring the license from EA. When you do that, you'll have to pay royalty to EA. Knowing EA, they'll settle only for a lion's share. Not 5%. Not 10%. They'll ask for maybe 30% to 40%. And obviously that isn't what the movie studio had in mind. No lion's share, no license, no same name.
ahhh darabont, the legend!!!! walkin dead season 1 was awsome. shame they didnt let him continue filming it the way he wanted to.
It could very easily be confused with the game when it has nothing to do with the game. This is a very easy case and they were right to change the name. Someone at the studio should have said, "Wait, wasn't there a game called L.A. Noire just a year or two ago? Maybe we should call it something else." That person was then thrown out a window.
@flamingboard one can't expect everyone to know of follow games. It is very possible that no one in their camp was aware of the game. It's not as big of a public knowledge game name like.... Call of Duty, for example. I know people who know nothing of games but will at least generally know what Call if Duty is.
For those who think this is stupid. How many people you think would of tuned into watch L.A. Noir because they thought it might of been something similar to the game?
If I recall correctly, 1947 is not only the same period, but the exact same year as the setting of L.A. Noire.
When I first saw a teaser for the show my immediate thought (and I'm sure I'm not alone on this) was that the game was being spun-off. A name change is probably best for both sides.
I don't like how this guy is acting like a huge victim here. They knew why they picked that title and he got caught for it. Many people would think there was a connection between the game and the new TV show which reflects on RockStar. They are in full right to defend their products name.
I don't see why not, MS can't make another Killer Instinct game since an obscure 90s failed TV program apparently exists...
@Dragon_Nexus The TV show was made in 2005 so MS could easily appeal the ruling but they don't care because Killer Instinct isn't Halo, Gears, or some crappy Kinect game.
@Dragon_Nexus What about Instinct Killer?
@msfan1289 If I started making a soft drink called Grand Theft Auto they could most certainly step in and shut that down. Infringement is infringement, doesn't matter what it is about.
@msfan1289 You know America is a lawsuit happy country. The industry doesn't seem to matter. :P
Shouldn't Take-Two be sued by Curtis Hanson and Warner Bros. for being a rip-off of 1997's L.A. Confidential movie? After all, it was a set in LA and dealt with corrupt cops post-WWII.
I think Take-Two are doing what billion-dollar companies love to do: sue, sue, and sue. And L.A. Noire is a pretty unoriginal name for a game anyway. It could be anything Noire... in addition, Darabont is a pretty cool guy, partly responsible for the direction and writing of the first 2 seasons of The Walking Dead, which is one of the best TV shows to ever be created.
Frank shouldn't sound so bitter. If he named his show that, even if it didn't have an E, he'd deserve to get sued. It wouldn't take a multi billion dollar company to win a lawsuit like that either.
Update: Frank Darabont, after changing the name from "L.A. Noir" to "Lost Angels", is now changing the name from "Lost Angels" to "Fine L.A. Fantasy VII".
FU TV shows, this is a revenge for Killer Instinct! lol (I don't care if they aren't the same companies)
I am actually happy about this for my own personal reasons. I am pissed at TNT for canceling one of my favorite shows, Leverage. So anyone who can cause them some trouble right about now is good in my book! Way to go, Take Two!
It's ok. We don't need shit with the same name. We don't need series with names such as KILLER INSTINCT
PS: LEARN TO SPELL THE DAMN THING, IT'S ALWAYS BEEN NOIRE, NOT NOIR.
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