Battle Royale, a 2000 Japanese film about teenagers forced to kill each other by a totalitarian government, could be remade as a TV show for the CW.
According to the LA Times, the CW has been in talks with the project’s Hollywood representative for the last few weeks. The talks were only preliminary, but if the project is picked up, the CW will acquire the rights to the novel by Koushun Takami that the film is based on.
Last fall, producer Roy Lee said it was unlikely that Battle Royale would be remade, largely because of the success of The Hunger Games. Lee said,
“Hunger Games definitely took a lot of wind out of the sails because it definitely has a very similar storyline and so I’m not actually sure if any studio…I’m not even sure if before Hunger Games any studio would have been able to take the creative risks you need to make the movie right and now so [making the movie] would be even harder.”
Unsurprisingly, many people drew comparisons between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, but Suzanne Collins insisted that she did not rip off Takami’s novel or the resulting film. Collins said she hadn’t even heard of the film until she submitted her manuscript for the first novel in the trilogy.
Also unsurprisingly, Battle Royale never saw a U.S release date (at least not until March when the Blu-ray DVD came out), partly because it came out around the same time as the Columbine massacre. A few year later Virginia Tech happened, making it difficult to introduce a plot involving students killing each other to American audiences.
While a post-apocalyptic series called The Selection is already in the works, remaking Battle Royale for a tween network could be risky for the CW, assuming Koushun Takami even grants them permission to go forward with a remake.
What do you think of Battle Royale potentially becoming a TV series?