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Japanese Cult Film ‘Battle Royale’ Coming to The CW?

Battle Royale
Anchor Bay

Up until this year, the film ‘Battle Royale’ was not officially released in America. The Japanese film was directed by Kinji Fukusaku and released in Japan in 2000, but because the film was about a group of students forced to kill each other, it was deemed too controversial for Americans. But in 2012, post-’The Hunger Games,’ it’s being considered as a network series on the CW.

This comes from the L.A. Times, who note that rights issues with the creator have to be worked out, and could eventually kill the project. But the logic seems to be that because ‘Battle Royale’ was compared so much to ‘The Hunger Games’ that adapting it could make it the next break-out hit. It’s hard to say if the original’s name recognition means much, but from a business point of view it’s probably better to have some source material to fall back on than simply ripping off a hit film.

Of course, the biggest question mark with this is that in both ‘BR’ and ‘Games’ part of the story is about how these killings are done as entertainment spectacles (more so with the latter), so turning that narrative into a television show might be a little too on the nose. We shall see if it happens, but we’re amused that a film that was considered unreleasable because of its violent content a decade ago could inspire a network show.  For those curious, ‘Battle Royale’ is currently on Netflix Instant.

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