CW Acquiring Rights for a Battle Royal TV Show

 CW Acquiring Rights for a Battle Royal TV Show

Six years ago, Fast & Furious producer Neil Moritz tried to make an American version of the dystopian Japanese film known as Battle Royal. But due to the Virginia Tech shootings they felt as though it was a bad time and put the idea on hold. Flash forward a couple of years and Hunger Games hits the shelves and then the theaters, making a feature film remake of Battle Royal virtually impossible.

Of course, if you’ve seen Battle Royal (which came out in 2000), you would know that the premise behind the Hunger Games story, namely school kids forced to fight each other to the death for sport, wasn’t all that original. In fact, the novel which Battle Royal is adapted from was written by Koushun Takami in 1996 and published in 1999, predating the Hunger Games novel by over a decade.

For the past few weeks, the CW execs have been in talks to acquire the rights to Battle Royal in order to develop it into an hour-long TV show but it’s still very hush hush at this point.  According to Japanese law, nothing happens unless Koushin Takami gives his permission first. Will it just be a matter of money or will he demand that the CW refrain from turning it into a post-apocalyptic version of One Tree Hill? One of the great things about the Japanese version was the way it poked fun at some of the absurdity inherent in their pop-culture.

 CW Acquiring Rights for a Battle Royal TV Show

I would hate to see such a great work watered down to appease financiers. The LA Times suggests that a TV series could still find an audience in the same way that the Vampire Diaries did even though Twilight had already taken over the world, by, you know, approaching it from a different perspective. Although, Hunger Games is the different perspective.

I think the whole fervor behind Hunger Games has sufficiently died down enough to where a Battle Royal TV show could work, especially when it becomes clear to the masses that it was written first. Of course, that will depend a lot on who’s in it. George Takei just might have another fight on his hands…

[Sources:  ANN, LA Times]

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