Author accuses Apple and Tetris Company of adapting his book without permission

The film stars actors Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Rick Yune, Ben Miles, and Roger Allam among others

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 09 August 2023 07:52 BST
Tetris trailer

The author of The Tetris Effect has filed a lawsuit in New York accusing Apple and the Tetris Company of adapting his book about the popular video game into a feature film without his permission.

Dan Ackerman, who is also the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, claims that he sent his book to the Tetris Company in 2016, which they then used as the basis for the 2023 movie.

Tetris premiered at the SXSW Film Festival on 15 March this year and was released on Apple TV around 15 days later. The film stars actors Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Rick Yune, Ben Miles, and Roger Allam among others.

According to Reuters, Ackerman is seeking damages equaling at least six per cent of the film’s $80m (£62.6m) production budget.

The Independent has contacted Apple and Tetris Company for comment.

Ackerman’s attorney Kevin Landau said on Tuesday (8 August) that the lawsuit “aims to right a wrong and provide the respect and justice to the work, diligence and ownership of someone who is entitled to such respect and acknowledgment under the law”.

In the lawsuit, the author accuses the film’s production team of “liberally borrowing numerous specific sections and events of the book”, which are “similar in almost all material respects” to it.

Ackerman also claimed that the Tetris Company threatened to sue him if he tried to pursue his own film or television spinoffs related to the game.

Ackerman’s book The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World was published in 2016.

The book describes “the Soviet history of the popular puzzle game and the fight for its global licensing rights as a Cold War thriller with a political intrigue angle”, according to the lawsuit.

The Independent’s James Mottram sat down with the Tetris game’s inventor and first key investor for an interview earlier this year. The duo was also joined by the film’s star Egerton. Read the full interview here.

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