Before there was The Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. A Japanese tale of a dystopian future in which a totalitarian government kidnapped young children and forced them to battle to the death. US filmmakers attempted to bring an American remake to the silver screen long before Suzanne Collins penned her tale, but talks stalled and it looked like the project was dead. Who would want to adapt the story now, and risk looking like copycats?
Well, it looks like Battle Royale US might live again, only this time it may take to the small screen. According to the LA Times, the CW is in talks to adapt the film to a one hour drama. For fans of the original film, this is sure to be a terrifying thought. HBO? Sure. AMC? Great. CW? Not so much. It’s unlikely any major network could bring a story this dark and disturbing to television in an effective manner. As brutal as the games in The Hunger Games could get, Battle Royale makes it look like a walk in the park. Can one really picture something that bloody and psychologically disturbing playing after a repeat of Gossip Girl? AMC and HBO have proven they’re willing to push the limits of what is considered acceptable for television airwaves with shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, but even Supernatural has boundaries on the gore that can be shown.
Still, it’s a little early to worry as these are merely talks. When asked for comment, Joyce Jun, an attorney in charge of US rights for Battle Royale, stated only that ”there is no deal in place.” Add to that the fact that Japanese law states the man behind the book, Koushun Takami, must approve the project before any deal can be put in place, chances of this project actually taking off may be on the slim side. Plus, the CW is already working on another post-apolcalyptic tale of young adults battling in dystopian future, The Selection. So with any luck, fans of Battle Royale will be able to breathe safely, and continue to appreciate the original Japanese masterpiece.
Source: LA Times.