Well, here’s a big surprise. Yes, the Battle Royale TV show that was in development at the CW network isn’t going forward.
You didn’t need to be a psychic to see this one coming, especially after the spate of recent shootings. And oddly enough, this is the second time Battle Royale’s been shut down after real life shootings. As you may recall, the original US release for Battle Royale was cancelled in the wake of the Columbine tragedy.
As we’ve previously reported, you couldn’t help get the impression CW had absolutely no idea what it was getting into with Battle Royale, because the network probably thought it was somewhat similar to Hunger Games.
Indeed, it’s a close enough idea, I’ve often referred to Games as Battle Royale light, but Battle Royale was always far more extreme and always came with much heavier political baggage. Not to mention now would be the worst possible time to try and revive it because of the horrible events in Connecticut.
As Entertainment Weekly reports, Mark Pedowitz, the president of CW, did considerable back-pedaling in regards to the show, claiming he only made one phone call about the rights, which the media blew out of proportion. “We were not able to do anything,” he said, also mentioning his interest in the project came before the shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. “We are not planning to do anything with Battle Royale…nothing occurred…there’s nothing to talk about…nothing happened.”
However, at a press conference last year, Pedowitz was asked by a reporter, “You know what Battle Royale is about, right? 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?”
Pedowitz responded, “We’re not planning to do anything we cannot get on the air. So the answer to that question is, no, we’re not going to go in that direction.” What on earth the CW thought they were going to make is beyond me.
Right now is certainly not a good time for a project like Battle Royale. Besides the political heat that violence in the media is going to be under this year, nobody would want to come across as insensitive towards the recent tragedy in Connecticut.
Ultimately, it’s eerie that as Battle Royale is coming around again that it’s once again come under fire for coming too close to a horrible real life event. What’s especially awful is we’re still dealing with similar tragic events after all these years.