Last fall, it was with a small amount of irony that producer Roy Lee revealed that the long-gestating Hollywood remake of the Japanese cult hit “Battle Royale” was essentially put on the back burner due to a similar film that has since become a massive hit. “‘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,” Lee explained. But never say die, as the edgy, violent movie may find a home on a channel favored by tweens.
The LA Times reports that talks are underway between CW and the reps for the Hollywood version of “Battle Royale” to bring the movie to the small screen in an English-language show. In case you’re not aware, “Battle Royale” — which came well before Suzanne Collins‘ books or the subsequent movies — tells the story of forty-two school children who are brought to an island and are entered in a three-day fight for survival where only one person emerges victorious. Sound familiar?
The idea of an American remake of this property always seemed a bit ludicrous, if only given that the outrageous, no-holds-barred nature of the original simply wouldn’t fly (or would be lost in translation) at a major studio, let alone a TV network that counts “Gossip Girl,” “Vampire Diaries” and “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers” among its programming. But before fans of Kinji Fukasaku‘s film get too up in arms, apparently the original author of “Battle Royale,” Koushun Takami, who wrote the book on which the film is based, has to give his approval before any of this can happen. But with the project in various forms of development since 2006 when New Line snatched the rights, clearly suits still want to see this happen.
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So, we’ll see how this turns out, but CW is hedging their bets with the similarly-themed “The Selection” also brewing as a potential new show on the network. So either way, you’re getting a kids-hunting-kids TV show on the CW probably at some point in the near future. Hooray!