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Battle Royale Needlessly Goes 3D

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Well, I don't think it would have been possible to find a better first candidate for "Wait, They're Making A What?" than this. The 3D craze is well and truly sweeping Hollywood, for better or worse, but this latest conversion shows it just might be getting out of control.

Battle Royale was a highly controversial Japanese film released in 2000. Based on the book of the same name and directed by Kinji Fukasaku, it is set in Japan in the near future. Fearing the youth population the government introduces the Millennium Educational Reform Act or Battle Royale Act. A class of Japanese students embark on what they believe is an excursion but after being gassed and taken to a secluded island they awake with electronic collars around their necks. They are told that they have been chosen to participate in the game Battle Royale, a twisted exercise which is broadcast as a reality show by the government. The rules are simple: in three days only one of them can remain; if at the end of those three days more than one person remains, the electronic collars will explode, killing them. If they try to escape the collar will kill them.

The film drew controversy for its intense violence and youthful cast. The government believed the film was harmful to teenagers and at one stage it looked like the government might have used the film as grounds to impose further restrictions on the classification board and Japanese cinema. As it usually goes when a government tries to ban something and fails, it became immensely popular in Japan grossing roughly US$25 million and spawning a sequel. Quentin Tarantino went on to claim that Battle Royale was one of his favorite films released after 1992.

Now Toei, the studio behind Battle Royale, are planning on re-releasing the cult film in 3D. Screen Daily got the scoop on this one. Apparently Fukasaku's son Kenta Fukasaku will be overseeing the conversion from 2D to 3D. The film is set to be ready for market screenings in October and will be released in Japan on November 20.

Seriously, why does this film need to be remade in 3D? Sure it's immensely popular in Japan and it has a cult following around the world, but I just don't see the need to convert it. The thing that made Battle Royale great was the crazy story and the serious themes and social problems it addressed. I mean yes, it was violent and a bit of a gore-fest but surely that wasn't enough of a reason to make them want to convert it. Maybe this has something to do with it being the film's tenth anniversary and they were looking for a reason to release one of Japan's most popular and well known films?

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About Troy Mayes

  • Jordan Richardson

    Great film, but this indeed sounds like a bizarre idea. The involvement of Fukasaku’s son gives me some hope that this could at least be in good hands, though.

  • Troy Mayes

    I just don’t see the need to turn it into a 3D film, visually there isn’t much there that makes you think ‘that’d be awesome in 3D’. Who knows maybe they’ll throw in some new footage