Young men and women having to survive in harsh, life-threatening conditions, being at risk of violence and murder, with cameras all around and a big prize waiting at the end. Sounds familiar? It’s not a new Hunger Games movie – but a real life reality TV program, coming to a Russian network next year.
Ever since The Hunger Games became such a worldwide phenomena (the books and later the movies), some have said it’s only a matter of time until the world gets a real life version of the Hunger Games competition. Turns out, we didn’t have to wait long.
The Russian show, called Game2: Winter according to The Sun, will take place in Siberia, where temperatures can fall down to -40F (That’s -40C).
The contestants, 30 men and women from different countries, will have to survive in the real wilderness for 9 months, with a prize of $1.65 million waiting for them at the end.
The rules are quite simple – just like The Hunger Games’ death-match, anything goes – including fighting, alcohol, and possibly even rape and murder, all while battling bears, wolves and the freezing temperatures.
Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, the Russian billionaire who is behind the new show, explains in an interview with The Siberian that the producers will not be responsible for anything the contestants do.
“We will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped. We will have nothing to do with this. This will be spelt out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.”
The contestants will be told, however, to follow Russian laws – it’s just that the producers won’t do anything about it, if you break those laws.
“You must understand that the police will come and take you away”, the organisers state. “We are on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation.”
And just like the Hunger Games, every move the contestants make will be televised – 24/7, but without a film crew. Cameras will be spread over the entire area, and each contestant will be carrying a portable camera with a rechargeable battery.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Pyatkovsky is investing $16.2 million in the series, and it will be shown on the internet around the world, with translations to English, French, Chinese and several other languages. It is set to begin on July 1, 2017 – five years after the release of the first Hunger Games film.
And who are the real life versions of The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson going to be? According to the producers, there are only three basic requirements for the would-be contestants: they must be over 18, “mentally sane,” and will have to pay $165,000 if they want to take part.
The contestants will be given survival training – not by Woody Harrelson (as in The Hunger Games movies), but by real life former GRU Spetsnaz operatives – elite soldiers who used to work under Russia’s military intelligence service.
Will we see a Hunger Games style crossbow? The contestants will not be allowed to bring guns, but they will be allowed to carry knives, so they can use them to hunt their own food, as the producers explain.
“You should also keep in mind that this will be a real forest with dangerous wildlife and harmful insects. Of course, there will be some safety precautions in place, but it would still take about half an hour to reach the area where the show will take place by helicopter.”
And what happens if one of the contestants gets sick or injured? On The Hunger Games, you either survived – or you died. In the real life version, you can request to see a doctor – but you will be taken out of the game.
“There will be no doctors with the participants. If someone gets sick, wounded and realise that he/she can not pass the test, the helicopter will take him/her away to the doctors. Then the participant will quit the game forever.”
And just like The Hunger Games, each week the real life contestants can ask the viewers at home for a single item, and the viewers can then donate money towards that item.
All that remains to be seen now, is whether the producers can actually pull this show off, without getting in trouble with Russian authorities – or with a public outcry around the world.
Would you watch a real life Hunger Games TV show, or is it all too brutal?
[Featured Image by Lionsgate]