Quentin Tarantino Wishes He Directed ‘Battle Royale’ Before ‘Hunger Games’ Franchised ‘Ripped It Off’

The Oscar winner even included a nod to "Battle Royale" in "Kill Bill: Volume 1."
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 19: Quentin Tarantino attends the close encounter red carpet during the 16th Rome Film Fest 2021 on October 19, 2021 in Rome, Italy. Photo by: Rocco Spaziani/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Quentin Tarantino
Rocco Spaziani/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Battle Royale” with cheese?

Quentin Tarantino revealed during Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he wished he directed the 2001 Japanese action film “Battle Royale,” which the Oscar winner said directly inspired Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” series and subsequent films.

“Battle Royale,” directed by Kinji Fukasaku and based on the novel by Kōshun Takami, follows a group of junior high students who are forced to fight to the death in a dystopian world.

“I’m a big fan of the Japanese movie ‘Battle Royale,’ which is what ‘Hunger Games’ was based on,” Tarantino explained. “Well, ‘Hunger Games’ just ripped it off. That would have been awesome to have directed ‘Battle Royale.'”

Tarantino included an ode to “Battle Royale” by casting star Chiaki Kuriyama in “Kill Bill: Volume 1” as schoolgirl Gogo Yubari in the 2003 film. While “The Hunger Games” lands the prequel feature “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” Tarantino has been eying his 10th and final film.

The auteur announced in 2020 that he was looking to retire as a director and cap off his career at 10 feature films. The “Pulp Fiction” writer-director teased a “mic drop” movie, with ideas ranging from “Kill Bill 3” to a Spaghetti Western and even a horror film.

“I kind of feel this is the time for the third act [of my life] to just lean a little bit more into the literary, which would be good as a new father, as a new husband,” Tarantino said in 2020. “I wouldn’t be grabbing my family and yanking them to Germany or Sri Lanka or wherever the next story takes place. I can be a little bit more of a homebody, and become a little bit more of a man of letters.”

Longtime collaborator Samuel L. Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that even he has no idea what Tarantino has in store.

“I don’t know. He’ll tell me or he won’t tell me,” Jackson explained. “I didn’t hear from him at all when he did the Hollywood movie [“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”]. Usually, he’ll call me and say he’s doing something and ask how I feel about it.”

In the meantime, Tarantino has a two-book deal with HarperCollins, with Pauline Kael-inspired book of essays “Cinema Speculation” out October 25. The writer-director also co-hosts podcast “Video Archives” with “Pulp Fiction” co-writer Roger Avary, now streaming.

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