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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.

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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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