Battle Royale May Become A TV Series

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Any self-respecting film fan ought to be pretty darned familiar with Japanese cult classic Battle Royale, released way back when in 2001 (although it wasn’t officially released in the U.S. until 2011). Based on the novel by Koushun Takami, it tells the tale of a futuristic, totalitarian Japanese society which forces a group of schoolchildren to fight each other to the death on a remote island. Long mooted for a U.S. remake, it seems the film may now get its English-language makeover by way of TV.

The LA Times reports that the CW channel (home of Supernatural, amongst other hit shows) has had recent discussions with the project’s American representatives about the possibility of acquiring the rights to the book and turning it into a dramatic series. The obvious snag with this story is the phenomenal success of The Hunger Games books and films, which have often been compared to Battle Royale, and which may have inadvertently stole all its thunder. That said, it is possible that the TV format could allow the network to deepen and diversify the story, giving it a unique edge that would help distinguish it from Suzanne Collins’ works.

The book certainly has the potential to succeed onscreen, though it is very early days yet and it is worth noting that the CW already has a dystopian, teen-centric show in development entitled The Selection. It is also difficult to see how the network might square the brooding violence with a relatively young target audience. Nonetheless, this is an intriguing prospect, if anything further actually comes of it.

Do you think Battle Royale could succeed as a TV series? Do you think The Hunger Games unfairly stole the edge? Let us know in the comments below!

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