The CW's quest for a Hunger Games-like TV show leads them to consider Battle Royale
The CW's past sudden inspirations include shows about sexy vampires, sexy zombies, sexy fairy tales, and Sex And The City and Beverly Hills 90210—only, you know, younger and sexier. So it stands to reason that the network that is the Kidz Bop of the zeitgeist would be interested in filtering the dystopian field day of The Hunger Games through its small screen, and maybe putting some guys with well-defined cheekbones in leather jackets in it. Most recently it attempted to do just that with The Selection—a Hunger Games/The Bachelor hybrid about young girls vying in a reality show competition to marry a prince and escape post-apocalyptic poverty. That pilot (which starred Friday Night Lights' Aimee Teegarden) was recently put back into development, but now the network is hedging its bets by pursuing a TV version of Battle Royale, the cult 2000 film that arguably launched this whole "kids battling for survival in a government-run contest" trend. That way, after all, they could forestall criticism that it's just a Hunger Games rip-off by pointing out that Battle Royale came first, and then obviously no one will ever mention it again.
Plans for a U.S. remake of Battle Royale have been floating around for a while, but scrapped as soon as The Hunger Games came along, with producers saying that they were worried they'd look like "copycats." But of course, that's not really a concern for The CW: The Los Angeles Times reports that the channel that borrowed ideas built is now interested in diluting the ultraviolent movie into a weekly series—"picking up on the theme but in a different way," such as dropping all the ultraviolence and Japanese, but keeping the Gossip Girl-esque uniforms. Of course, there are various rights issues with Koushun Takami's novel to sort out first, and such talks are very preliminary, but it's obvious that The CW is determined to have some sort of show where people kill each other in a televised contest. Everyone who signed up for the "extreme musical chairs" show Oh Sit! is duly warned.