I always tilt a brow at the way perspective shifts when horrific events occur in real life. First a movie is made in response ot the horrible events in our world, then someone goes on a killing spree that causes the rebelious film to become the scapegoat, and then finally any film in production that has any similarities to the events gets stuck on the backburner… usually forever. Such the case with Battle Royale and the Virginia Tech murders. Read on for the story.
During a recent interview, Hollywood producer Roy Lee (The Ring, The Grudge) revealed that his production company, Vertigo Entertainment, hopes to produce a remake of the Japanese novel/manga/film/game Battle Royale, but that the project has been greatly impacted by the recent Virginia Tech massacre, according to IGN.
Lee was interviewed by The New York Times, which reports that “the killings have seriously shaken the prospects for his Battle Royale, based on a Japanese video game in which ninth graders imprisoned on an island are forced to kill one another.”
The producer revealed that New Line Cinema has been pursuing the film rights to the game since last year but a deal has not been inked yet. A studio spokesperson informed the Times that there was “no news” on that front.
Lee is still willing to go ahead with a Battle Royale movie, but “we might be a little more sensitive to some of the issues” in light of Virginia Tech. He said that, had the film been in production before the shootings, “We would have been slaughtered by the press.”
He also confirmed that active development on Vertigo’s remake of the Asian revenge pic Oldboy — which supposedly influenced the video that Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho sent to NBC News — had halted long before the campus killings occurred (news we first reported here).