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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.


Battle Royale U.S. Television Series In The Works

If our immense love of The Hunger Games is any indication, there’s something we find compelling about stories that explore the consequences of totalitarian regimes and state-sponsored violence through the lens of adolescence. At least, that’s what I think the main draw of the The Hunger Games is, not taking a certain love triangle into account. But before Katniss took the Capitol, and our hearts, by storm, there was Battle Royale, a 2000 Japanese film about teenagers fighting against their classmates for survival at the whim of a corrupt government. Now, spurred by the recent success of  The Hunger Games, a long-stalled U.S. remake of the Japanese cult classic might be rebooted as a television series.

According to The LA Times, the CW has been in talks with the project’s Hollywood representatives about the possibility of turning the Battle Royale into an English-language series, in lieu of a film reboot. Although the talks are only in their initial stages, if given the green light, the CW would acquire the rights to the franchise and expand it into an hour long series. When pressed to comment, Joyce Jun, the Hollywood attorney representing the U.S. rights to the title, said that ”there is no deal in place,” but that there had been a discussion about the possibility.

In order for a television series deal to move forward, approval would have to be sought from Koushun Takami, the author of the novel Battle Royale, the film’s source material.

If this deal does go through, I’ll be interested to see how the television series attempts to set itself apart from The Hunger Games. It’s not that they follow the same story, because that don’t — The Hunger Games explores violence in relation to reality TV and the spectacle of  the sorrow of disenfranchised people, whereas Battle Royale explores violence on a more personal level (every one in the fight-to-the-death competition is a classmate, not just a fellow citizen).  I’m  just not sure that folks who are unfamiliar with the original novel and movie will be able to immediately see the differences, a problem that could lead a potential audience to write the series off as a rip-off riding the success of Suzanne Collins‘s mega-hit series.

I’ll leave it to you all: Are you excited for a Battle Royale television series? Are the plot differences from The Hunger Games compelling enough for U.S. audiences to appreciate it on its own merits?

(via The LA Times.)

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  • Anonymous

    I think it’s pretty interesting how, as the recession has changed from a new thing to a tired reality, our media has gone from sugar-fantasy distraction to gritty realistic totalitarianism. 

  • Talia

    Being that almost everything on the CW is tween-garbage, I’m going to go with no, no I do not want. Yet the real question is, how the hell can something like Battle Royale be turned into a television series on the CW? Yes, it’s about teens (and undoubtedly the casting directors will find beautiful white young actors to play the leads), but the themes explored in the book, movie, and manga were so adult and really brutal. Nothing you’d see on prime time tv on a channel like the CW. I have a feeling it’d be really watered down and tame, which is not the spirit of the book. Not to say you couldn’t explore such a theme/premise without being as explicit as BR, but if that’s the case, they should come up with their own story.

  • Seanna Tucker

    I would have to agree – although the early years of Supernatural do show that they can do dark and interesting yet funny drama. 

    This television series should really be a cable show. On HBO or Showtime, or maybe even AMC. But not CW. 

  • John Wao

    As the great philosopher Tara would say: “Oh hell no!”

  • Alex T

    I’m not exactly sure what I feel about this. I mean, Battle Royale is a great story and this is probably the best (if not the only) time for it to be converted into a television show, but I just don’t think I would watch it. I’d probably see the Pilot and just lose interest after that. I don’t really watch the shows on CW.

  • Katie Marinelli

    Between the rapes, preBR sexually abused girls, sociopaths that carve up their classmates, heads exploding if you’re too slow, and just the degree of detail in each killing I don’t think CW could do it. Because showing all that is a big part of BR and people were getting out of order with cut away deaths in HG. With HG I felt it was more important to focus on hate for the system and the relationship between Katniss and others. In BR, while relationships are important, it is more about how far people will go when presented with this torturous situation, how their upbringing plays a factor in who they become on the field.

    Oh, and they do both explore the reality TV and disenfranchised grief. In BR the entire country lives in fear of the government, afraid to be killed or disappeared, unable to do anything when they find out that their children have been chosen for the Game besides accept it or die. The people have found a way of ‘coping’ with what the government does by looking at it as a real reality show that they bet on and not thinking about the fact that those are children out there. 

    Third, I’ll probably cry in frustration at the inevitable ‘They’re just trying to copy Hunger Games!’ comments to come when this happens. And I’ll probably cry again when the main character is typical pretty white boy Johnny. (Because part of BR’s reality is Japan’s ability to look the other way at difficult topics which is a real trait of the country’s and doesn’t fit as well with America)

  • mwakholi

    Mark my words: if this gets off the ground, it will be whitewashed. Keen, I ain’t.

  • Julianne McCartney

    I laughed so much watching this movie. Like after the guy was shot 20+ times and then answered his cellphone just to basically tell some guy to go eff himself and then he dramatically dies….I cried laughing…

  • Suzanne Stone

    If it wasn’t going to be on the CW and It was a miniseries rather than a series i’d be more excited for this. But we’ll see how it turns out.