GTA 6 trailer now has real life Florida Joker threatening legal action

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The GTA 6 trailer has been a worldwide smash, but now Rockstar Games could be facing legal action after one man has claimed they used his likeness to inspire one character featured within.

Lawrence Sullivan is a real-life Florida man who gained internet fame in 2017 after he was arrested by Miami police and his mugshot ended up in local and international media. Earlier this month, Rockstar of course released their GTA 6 trailer, filled with moments that seemed to be inspired by news stories such as this one – including one shot of a man who bears a similarity to Mr Sullivan who appears during a brief fictional news bulletin getting a mugshot taken.

Though there’s certainly some marked differences, including the exact style of the tattoos used and different colour hair, it seems the likeness was close enough that Lawrence posted a video on TikTok following the trailer’s release accusing Rockstar of using his likeness, and (as reported by IGN) demanding that be compensated for the use of his image.

Now, roughly a week later, Sullivan has posted a follow-up TikTok, in which he’s dyed his hair to more closely resemble the person in the trailer and says he’s still not heard from Rockstar – so he’s threatening to get lawyers involved. “GTA, I’m giving you the biggest free marketing, you’ve had in the entire history of running this GTA game. For that, I want an extra million dollars. Y’all taking forever to respond back to me.” (…) “I will wait. GTA, we gotta talk. You think I’m playing? You’ve got three days before my lawyers go crazy on this case.”

As Lawrence himself points out, it’s not the first time that Rockstar has faced legal issues with using a likeness in their marketing – back in 2014, Lindsay Lohan attempted to sue Rockstar claiming that one of the game’s characters – who also featured in marketing posters – was based on her. Her case was firmly rejected after several trips to the courts by the New York Court State of Appeals, which came to the conclusion “the artistic renderings are indistinct, satirical representations of the style, look, and persona of a modern, beach-going young woman that are not reasonably identifiable as (Miss Lohan)”. However, Lawrence also says that his case is different, and that he has “hard evidence” with which to support his claims.

In the meantime, the GTA 6 trailer has now been seen, at the time of writing, a whopping 150 million times since Rockstar would up releasing it 24 hours earlier than planned following a leak. The game itself isn’t expected until 2025 – although PC players could be waiting for GTA 6 even longer.