Writer suing Apple over Tetris movie

Chris Tilly
Taron Egerton in the Tetris movie.Apple TV

The writer of a book titled ‘The Tetris Effect’ is suing Apple over similarities with the Tetris movie that was released this year.

Directed by John S. Baird, written by Noah Pink, and starring Taron Egerton, Tetris hit Apple TV back in March, to much critical acclaim. The film scored 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. While our 4-star review said: “Tetris is a propulsive, highly watchable piece of mass entertainment; it won’t change the world as much as its space-shifting bricks, but you’ll have a good time glued to your screen.”

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The makers of the movie are facing legal troubles however, with author Dan Ackerman claiming the film adapted elements of the book without his permission.

Ackerman published ‘The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World’ in 2016, says he sent a copy to the Tetris Company before they made the movie, and is now seeking damages for copyright infringement, unfair competition, and illegally interfering with his business relations.

Writer suing Apple over Tetris movie

According to Reuters, Ackerman is after 6% of the film’s $80 million production budget, with the lawsuit filed against Apple, the Tetris Company, and others involved in the adaptation, including screenwriter Pink.

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Ackerman’s attorney Kevin Landau states 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.”

Ackerman claims that after he sent the book, the Tetris company refused to license its intellectual property for future projects, sent a cease and desist letter, and dissuaded producers from working with him.

Turning Tetris into a “Cold War spy thriller”

The lawsuit itself – as reported by The Wrap – states that Ackerman’s book “took a unique approach to writing about the real history of Tetris, as it not only applied the historical record, but also layered his own original research and ingenuity to create a compelling narrative non-fiction book in the style of a Cold War spy thriller.”

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It goes onto claim that the resulting film replicated “the exact same feel, tone, approach, and scenes as the book introduced several years prior.”

Representatives for Apple and the Tetris Company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit when Reuters reached out on Tuesday.

The Tetris movie is currently streaming on Apple TV, while you can read our review of the film here.

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.