CATEGORIES CinematicalLast month, Scott told you about New Line's planned remake of the cult-classic Japanese film Battle Royale. It turns out that contrary to what was reported by our source, Variety, the studio has not completed acquiring the rights just yet. But otherwise the Americanized version is on its way toward production. So far, fans of the original are outraged at the idea and many people are baffled at how New Line is going to handle the violent story of a class of 9th graders who have to kill each other. Surely, they think New Line is going to screw it up by toning it down.
The New York Times talked with Roy Lee, who has produced remakes of the Asian films The Grudge, Dark Water, The Lake House and The Ring, and who is now producing Battle Royale, about the issues of the film's content and what we might expect from his version. It will take place in America (like all his remakes save for The Grudge) and will still be about high school students. Lee said that to tone down the story, he could make it so the students are in jail (or juvie?) at the beginning, but he sees that as pointless. He also assures that the film will be R-rated -- with a very hard R -- because the original would have received an NC-17 if released in the U.S. Finally he admits to being a huge fan of the original and has no intentions of ruining it with a bad film.
We can all breath easier now, right?. I mean, he must just not have been a huge fan of his other remakes, right? That's why they were bad films (okay, The Ring was okay). Personally, I'm still not assured that Lee will be able to appropriately handle the material over here.