The CW Eyeing TV Series Adaptation of BATTLE ROYALE

     July 26, 2012

Though The CW’s Hunger Games-esque pilot The Selection didn’t move forward this year (they put the show back into development), the network is now eyeing a different series that centers on kids murdering kids.  Specifically, The CW is apparently mulling over adapting the 2000 Japanese hit Battle Royale for the small screen.  When Suzanne CollinsHunger Games book trilogy hit shelves, it drew quite a few comparisons to Battle Royale given that both properties revolve around teenagers living in an authoritarian state, fighting for survival in a government-sanctioned “murder everyone” competition.

The similarities really stop there, as The Hunger Games and Battle Royale have strikingly different tones and characters.  That said, Hunger Games is—to borrow a phrase from Mugatu—“so hot right now,” so a similarly plotted television series looks pretty attractive from a financial standpoint.  Hit the jump for more.

battle-royaleA U.S. feature film remake of Battle Royale, itself an adaptation of a Koushun Takami novel of the same name, has been stalled in development for years.  Per the LA Times, The CW has been in talks with the project’s representatives about turning it into an English-language television series.  No deal is in place, and according to Japanese law, Takami apparently must approve any remake of the property before it moves forward.

That said, a television iteration of the story would likely flourish on The CW.  Whether you watch their programming or not, the network has done an excellent job of branding what they stand for.  While they have shows that vary wildly in genre, each series distinctly has that “CW” feel to it.  Moreover, the network is home to the genre juggernaut The Vampire Diaries and hopes to strike superhero gold this fall with Arrow, so a totalitarian series about fight-to-the-death competitions could fit right in.

It remains to be seen if The CW version of Battle Royale will ever come to fruition, and it’s definitely early days, but I’d actually be interested to see how the cable channel would handle some of the touchier subject matter and violence.  A better version would likely be found on HBO, but the network television landscape has changed wildly over the past decade with cable shows like Nip/Tuck and The Walking Dead pushing the boundaries of what you can and can’t show on all-access TV.  Hopefully we hear more soon, but sound off in the comments with your thoughts on this American iteration of Battle Royale.