The CW’s entertainment president loves the idea of doing a Battle Royale TV show.
But isn’t a faithful adaptation of the brutal novel sort of impossible for a broadcast network?
“We’d love to do it,” CW chief Mark Pedowitz told reporters at the TCA press tour in Beverly Hills. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to make a deal with the producers, and we’ll see where it goes.”
Pedowitz emphasized that at this point there’s only been “a phone call” looking into the Japanese cult hit novel’s rights.
For those who are unfamiliar with Koushun Takami’s bestseller, the novel is compelling and brutal. It makes Hunger Games look like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The premise is familiar: A high school class chosen at random is dropped off on an island with a single order: Kill each other; last person standing “wins.” But the novel’s execution is much darker than Suzanne Collins’ reality TV-themed Hunger Games trilogy, with lots of gun violence that would likely spark controversy.
Much more fitting for The CW, which targets women 18 to 34, is The Selection — The Bachelor-meets-Hunger Games pilot that’s still under consideration at the network.
“The producers and writers have gone back and are re‑scripting [The Selection] we speak,” Pedowitz said. “We’ll hopefully see something soon or make a determination whether to go forward. I really wanted a show that had a Game of Thrones/Hunger Games tone, and we hope it’s The Selection. If it’s not, then we will look at another arena to go to in terms of that. Battle Royale comes with a nice cult following, as we all know.”
A critic pressed: “You know what Battle Royale is about, right? I mean, you aren’t really going to have a show at this moment in the media landscape that’s about high school kids killing other high school kids, are you?”
“We’re not planning to do anything that we cannot get on the air,” Pedowitz said. “So the answer to that question is, no, we’re not going to go in that direction. We’re going to wait to see what happens and how things develop.”
So if you weren’t confused about The CW’s Battle Royale plans before starting this story, hopefully you’re really confused now. Battle Royale is either kids killing kids or it’s not, right?