Back when it hit these shores in 2001, Battle Royale caused a storm. The US had to wait a few more years to see it (outside of festivals and shipped-in DVDs, that is) but interest in the movie has been strong among US studios and executives since long before it actually hit cinemas, with talks of a remake circling every few years. The Hunger Games may effectively have blown the head off that idea, but TV network The CW thinks it might be able to make Battle Royale work on the small screen.
According to the LA Times, the channel’s chiefs have been having early talks with the US representatives of the movie and the source novel, written by Koushun Takami.
No deals have been made, but if the CW does go ahead with developing the series, it would end up stretching the story of school children sent to an island to battle to the death into a weekly series.
There are a few questions to be answered first, not the least of which is how diluted the concept’s violence would have to be to work on American telly (then again, the CW broadcasts Supernatural, which is historically pretty damn gory). And writer Takami also has to give his blessing for any remake, which he may not do.
The channel already has one very similar series – dystopian drama The Selection – in development, which makes us wonder why it would want two. Still, executives have apparently pushed that one back into the development oven after seeing the pilot, so there’s always the chance this is a move to A) provide more stories or B) take a crack at the idea again but with a (slightly) more recognisable title.