TV show forced to change name over L.A. Noire - Report

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.

L.A. Noire was developed by Team Bondi for Rockstar Games and released in May 2011. It garnered a positive critical reception and shipped 4 million units. A sequel is a possibility.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

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183 comments
5529319
5529319

Isn't the name L.A. Noire common-sounding-ish enough for both to actually be possible to exist?

guard2182
guard2182

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

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

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

jhcho2
jhcho2

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.

Cryptic_Shadow
Cryptic_Shadow

Time for a new name for the show.  Anyone have any suggestions?

tightwad34
tightwad34

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.

robbiejones
robbiejones

ahhh darabont, the legend!!!! walkin dead season 1 was awsome. shame they didnt let him continue filming it the way he wanted to.

flamingboard
flamingboard

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.

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

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?

CieloPerso
CieloPerso

If I recall correctly, 1947 is not only the same period, but the exact same year as the setting of L.A. Noire.

roguebot
roguebot

The Walking Dead went so downhill when Darabont left. It's steadily gotten good again, though.

Codexx
Codexx

L.A. Noire's development sucks as fuck

UrFaceIzDum
UrFaceIzDum

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.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

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.

Zorphose
Zorphose

AH.. I got a good laugh from this one xD

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

I don't see why not, MS can't make another Killer Instinct game since an obscure 90s failed TV program apparently exists...

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

Lost Angels sounds better anyways.

msfan1289
msfan1289

wait i thought they have to be in the same industry in order to sue.

kessel21
kessel21

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.


mhaed
mhaed

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.

NewShire
NewShire

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.

Renunciation
Renunciation

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".

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

FU TV shows, this is a revenge for Killer Instinct! lol (I don't care if they aren't the same companies)

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

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!

krizalidzero
krizalidzero

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.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Lost Angels is a really, really uncreative name.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Drama queen.


(and FTR, Shawshank was/is highly over-rated.)

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Great game, but the name of the show--in my opinion--didn't infringe upon the trademark because of the different spelling.

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

Correct animal85, a new TV show could help sell more games. However-

There is a legal precedent here that if Take-two does not defend it's trademark, it can lose it. If they don't defend it in this case, a game company could come out next year with a game with the name or variation including "L.A. Noire", and defend doing so because Take-two didn't defend its trademark before- and conceivably win.

aminal85
aminal85

This is a stupid move on Take-two's part. The only outcome I can foresee is people buying/trying LA Noire as a result of watching the similarly named TV show. The game isn't exactly recent, so there isn't much chance of people being put off from buying it in the event that they didn't like the TV show. Baffling

top8cat
top8cat

Interesting, I remember a time when Hollywood had the power to bully everyone around funny to see them in the opposite corner

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

If anything, the name would've gotten more attention for L.A. Noire. I don't see why it's a problem.

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

I think the confusion lies in the fact that John Buntin didn't copyright the name for his book and Darabont didn't think it would've been a problem to name his show the same thing as the book, because the show is based on it. 

I bet he and his staff had no clue about LA Noire, and even if they did, it's technically not the same name. I doubt it was on purpose, either way.

Killusion
Killusion

Remember Monster Cable? They sue everybody with the word "Monster" in their titles. They've sued Disney, Discovery Channel, the Red Sox, a costume/makeup website, a mini-golf operator, and several others I'm sure I don't know about. Guess what? I stopped buying Monster cables!

L.A. Noir is the name of the book for f***'s sake! I'm SURE Take-Two was aware if this, and added the 'e' to avoid infringement (they claim is was a "typo"). If they weren't aware of it, then they should be happy that they weren't sued! I hate stuff like this, it strikes me as incredibly pathetic and insecure. Did they think it would affect sales? Well guess what? I WAS planning on getting this game since I haven't played it yet. I won't be doing that anymore. How's that for affecting sales?

Triton
Triton

That's nothing, folks are suing subway because the foot long sub is not exactly 12" - It's a little under.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

How about I sue them all for suing each other.

KiPac
KiPac

How about John Buntin sue the shit out of Take Two for using L.A. Noire, which is damn fucking similar to his book name.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

I just don't think this guy could have possibly not known that the name was taken already.

All he would have to do would be take 5 seconds and Google it.

Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.  Either that or he's genuinely unbelievably stupid... or petty.

pozium
pozium

What the they think was going to happen? they better stick to Lost Angles Noire

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

I can assure you, if Take Two decided to make a video game about an inmate in prison set in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and call it Shawshanc (With a C!) Redemption, I'm sure Castle Rock and any other copyright holders would've sued heavy.

This guy needs to stop whining.

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

I'll admit, the first time I heard about this show I thought, "Oh man! They're making a TV show based on the game!" 

tgwolf
tgwolf

He may be verbally recoiling, but you know that in the icy depths of his black heart he's just nursing his wounded pride 'cause he couldn't get a piece of the ignoble fame of that game...Oh, also that he couldn't have nearly as bad of content, it still being television even if it is cable...

mtait01
mtait01

well yeah... if I made a TV show and I wanted to call it 'Call of Dootie' I am sure I would get a call from Activision... at which point I would tell them to go and F%$k themselves XD

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

If I were Frank Darabont, I downright wouldn't want my work to have the same title as something else, especially one recently released. Would you want your work to be mistaken for something else when the title is mentioned? I remember the misconception for the Steven Seagal movie, The Patriot. Whenever we hear that title, we automatically picture Mel Gibson's movie.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

Well, the full name of the book was 'L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City', so that might have something to do with Take Two being able to get around copyright issues. But yeah, the names were too similar, and John Buntin didn't sue Take Two when he had the chance. Take Two is in the right as I see it.

catsimboy
catsimboy

I like to see it as karma, in the context of video games vs TV studios, for Fox blocking Microsoft from releasing Killer Instinct on XBLA because Fox had a stupid show that ran for one season called Killer Instinct (even though the game came out first!)