US Adaptation of Battle Royale no longer in development

Last year saw the CW network having discussions in trying to adapt Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale for US television. Back then CW president Mark Pedowitz said “We’d love to do it.” Now during a meeting at the Television Critics Association he has revealed that the project is no longer happening.

“We are not planning to do anything with Battle Royale,” said Pedowitz of the discussion that took place, adding that it was just one phone call last summer to see if the books were available. A reporter then asked him if current events had anything to do with the decision, likely referring to the tragedy that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last month. Pedowitz said, “Nothing occurred. There was nothing to talk about. It was just nothing occurred. And it pre-dated the current events that occurred. So there was no development… nothing happened.”

The CW network do have the ‘mildly’ similar (and less likely to offend) series The Selection in the works. Based on Kiera Cass’ novel, 35 teenage girls compete in a reality show to win the affections of a young prince.

A US film adaptation of Battle Royale had also been talked about in the past with producers Roy Lee and Neal H. Moritz, though The Hunger Games film and its eventual success has been seen as a factor in putting a stop towards that. It’s believed that most US audiences would view any Battle Royale film or TV series as a copy capitalising on the success of Suzanne Collins’ novel, even though it came first.

Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale was published in Japan in 1999 and became a best seller. Telling the story of 42 high school students that must kill each other till there is one winner, it became a phenomenon and was adapted into a feature film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, as well as a manga.

Source: Collider | JE Fusion

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