The 2000 Japanese film “Battle Royale” is considered by many to be a classic. It was also doing the whole “teenagers fighting to the death in a totalitarian society” thing long before the “The Hunger Games” hit theaters earlier this year. There have been talks of remaking the film for American audiences for years, but after many delays and issues, it might just arrive in the form of a TV series.
According to an anonymous source speaking to the LA Times, the CW TV network has been in talks with the film project’s Hollywood representatives about ditching the idea of a movie, and making an English TV series instead. While apparently the talks at this point are only preliminary, if the deal goes through then the CW would be able to get their hands on the rights to the original novel by Koushun Takami that the film is based on.
The network would then adapt that into an entire dramatic series with hour long episodes. Hollywood, however, is not talking. When asked about the rumor, Joyce Jun, an attorney who represents the owners of the U.S. rights to the property stated that “there is no deal in place.” CW would only confirm that some discussion has taken place, but nothing else.
The good news is that such a series won’t happen without the expressed approval of Koushun Takami himself. Under Japanese law, if the network can’t get his approval then no remakes can be made. There’s also the fact that the CW is already developing another series with a similar premise called “The Selection,” so it might not be worth the effort to obtain the rights to “Battle Royale” when they have something that’s close enough.
We shall see what happens and if this rumor has any weight, but sometimes it’s better to just leave the classics alone. Both the United States and Japan do certain creative things very well, but when they try to copy each other it can often lead to disastrous results.
Source: LA Times