This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the CW is not moving forward with an adaptation of Koushun Takai’s dystopian novel, Battle Royale. Really, they’re not keen on the idea of a brutally violent show about kids murdering each other? Weird, right?
Reports never felt like much more than wishy-washy rumors, but given the similarities between the story—which pits a group of teens against one another in a to-the-death game of survival—and The Hunger Games, a watered down version, seemed at least somewhat plausible. Network president Mark Pedowitz was quoted as saying he would love to do a version of Battle Royale, and he even went so far as to inquire about the rights.
That endeavor bore no fruit, however—his effort reportedly amounted to a single phone call, so you can see how invested he was in the idea—but he recently told EW, “We were not able to do anything…We are not planning to do anything with Battle Royale…nothing occurred…there’s nothing to talk about…nothing happened.”
Given the conditions and emotions following the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook, Connecticut, you can imagine why a show about kids killing each other with a varied assortment of weapons, including guns, might not be high on a network’s list of potential shows, and any adaptation would necessarily have to tone down the content. Also, the CW is already developing a show called The Selection, which is similar to The Hunger Games but lacks the violence inherent in Takami’s novel.
In 2000, Battle Royale was adapted into an acclaimed film by Kinji Fukasaku. It’s a great movie, and another version is unnecessary.