When ‘The Hunger Games’ rose in popularity, everybody wanted a piece of the action. Every network and studio wanted their own property to recreate the success of the book series and film, so they started to scoop up every young adult dystopian society property they could get their hands on. They wanted “teenagers in a totalitarian state fighting for survival in a government-imposed competition” and they were looking everywhere for it.
Somewhere in the mix, the CW started to meet about acquiring the rights to the 2000 Japanese cult hit ‘Battle Royale’ in order to develop it into a show for television. In the novel, junior high school students are gassed and taken to an island where they are forced to fight each other to the death in a program run by the authoritarian Japanese government known as the Republic of Greater East Asia. The book was so popular that it spawned a film in 2000. With the news that the CW was interested in adapting the book into a series, fans were worried that they’d be getting an incredibly watered down and bastardized version of the beloved book and film, but they can now rest easy as it appears that the rights holders have no interest in the adaptation.
During a press tour, CW president Mark Pedowitz revealed that the show is no longer in development. He made it quite clear in the following quote that nothing came of the talks that occurred five months ago:
“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.”
While at one point the executive said that he’d love to do a series version of the novel by Koushun Takami, he mentioned that his comments came well before the tragedies in Aurora and Sandy Hook involving gun violence in schools, something that is very much present in ‘Battle Royale’.
The CW still has a ‘Hunger Games’-esque property in the works with ‘The Selection’, which is described as a combination of the Suzanne Collins novel with ‘The Bachelor’ where a ”poor young woman is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.” Basically, it’s exactly what the network was looking for, minus the extreme violence.
Are you relieved to hear that ‘ Battle Royale ’ isn’t getting the CW treatment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!