Author Dan Ackerman claims that Apple, The Tetris Company, and others adapted his book about the famous puzzle game for their film without permission or payment.
"Tetris" was acquired by Apple TV+ in 2020, following years in the 2010s of failed attempts to get it into production as a reportedly edgy film. Apple's securing the rights is likely to have given the production sufficient funds to proceed.
As a drama-documentary written by Noah Pink, "Tetris" finally premiered at the South by Southwest festival in March 2023, before streaming on Apple TV+ at the end of that month.
According to Reuters, however, Gizmodo editor in chief Dan Ackerman is alleging that the film is based on his book, "The Tetris Effect." Following its publication in 2016, Ackerman says he sent the book to The Tetris Company, which allegedly then copied it.
More, Ackerman says that The Tetris Company threatened to sue him if he were to pursue film or television rights for his book himself. Specifically, the company denied him permission to use Tetris intellectual property and sent him a "strongly worded cease and desist letter," according to Reuters.
"[This lawsuit] aims to right a wrong," said Ackerman's attorney Kevin Landau, "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 is asking the court for damages equally at least 6% of the film's $80 million budget.
Neither Apple nor The Tetris Company have commented.