Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 film “Battle Royale” has become a cult hit in its native Japan and overseas. The film, set in one of those near-future type settings, is most famous for pitting high schoolers (re: teenagers) against each other in a brutal kill-or-be-killed showdown on an island, complete with exploding collars. The culprits? The Government aka the adults. The film would spawn a forgettable sequel 3 years later.
Of course, that was 11 years ago, and “Battle Royale” might have seemed shocking, then. Nowadays, with teenage girl killers running around slicing people into pieces with swords and cussing like rotten sailors, it’s probably not so shocking anymore.
Needless to say, a film like “Battle Royale” quickly became remake bait. And if it’s Asian and it’s being remade, obviously producer Roy Lee is somehow involved. (Lee is also involved in the remake of “Oldboy” and a gazillion other Asian movie remakes. See the status of the “Oldboy” remake here.)
In what appears to be the same round-table interview with other online sites like Shock Til You Drop, Blood-Disgusting, and the like, Lee also updated fans on the “Battle Royale” remake (via Movieweb):
The Hunger Games definitely took a lot of wind out of the sails because it definitely has a very similar storyline and so I’m not even sure if before The Hunger Games, any studio would have been able to take the creative risks you need to make the movie right.
“The Hunger Games”, as some of you have already (correctly) pointed out, is very “Battle Royale”-esque in its pitting of teenagers against one another. In the Suzanne Collins books, anyway. It looks like, because of the age of the actors, the “teen” angle may have been toned down for the movies.
Lee, by the by, is also in the process of rebooting “The Grudge” and “The Ring” horror franchises, and is trying to talk his way into the “Poltergeist” remake.
Here’s what all the hullabaloo over the original was about: