To the surprise of absolutely nobody familiar with either the literary or cinematic source material, “Battle Royale” isn’t moving forward at The CW.
The CW President Mark Pedowitz told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday (January 13) that there are no current developments on that project.
“At this time we are not planning to do anything with ‘Battle Royale,'” Pedowitz said when asked if tragic events in Colorado and Connecticut meant that he could say that the project wasn’t moving forward. [This reporter asked about the contemporary environment, but also asked Pedowitz if last summer if general common sense would preclude a “Battle Royale” series on The CW.]
Asked again about “Battle Royale” a bit later, Pedowitz says that news reports in the summer about the hypothetical adaptation were based only on a phone call and nothing more.
“Nothing occurred. There was nothing to talk about,” he told reporters.
That’s a minor step back from what Pedowitz said in July, when he noted, “It”s amazing what happens when you have just a phone call and a discussion. We”d love to do it. Hopefully, we”ll be able to make a deal with the producers, and we”ll see where it goes. But at this point in time, it”s just a discussion for development.”
Written by Koushun Takami and first published in 1999, “Battle Royale” focused on a group of Japanese school kids who are dropped in a remote area and forced to kill each other for sport. Kinji Fukasaku brought the novel to the big screen for a 2000 cult film, which was followed by a pair of less admired sequels.
In lieu of “Battle Royale,” blood-thirsty CW viewers will have to be satisfied with the summer reality series “The Hunt,” in which teams are dropped in the wilderness and asked to survive, preferably without killing each other.