Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Back in May we heard that Toei was converting Battle Royale to 3D. That seemed like a bad idea, but it was more a curiosity than anything else. After all, the film was never given distribution in the States when originally released so there was no reason to think this 3D version would make it across the sea, either. But now Anchor Bay has reportedly picked up rights to the film, so we may see a real US release of Battle Royale after all these years, albeit in 3D.
According to NipponCinema (via Twitch) the deal went down this past weekend at the American Film Market and saw Anchor Bay going home with the rights to Battle Royale in original 2D and new 3D forms, and the forgettable sequel, Battle Royale II.
The film was never distributed in the States supposedly because of nerves in the wake of Columbine, but Todd at Twitch says there was significant distributor interest at the time, which was roundly rebuffed by Toei. Regardless, the rights have been sold now, so whatever decisions were made a decade ago are moot now.
Battle Royale 3D will hit theaters in Japan on November 20, and Anchor Bay reportedly plans a 2011 release in the US.
Kinji Fukusaku directed the adaptation of Koushun Takami‘s novel about a group of students in an alternate, fascist Japan who are taken to an island and forced to kill one another in an outlandish game of survival. Fukusaku’s son is supervising the conversion; he also wrote the screenplay for Battle Royale, and after his father died in 2003, he took over directing the sequel. (That didn’t turn out so well.) Which cut of the film will be converted is unclear; there are the original theatrical, and a special edition with a few extra minutes and more CGI. And Battle Royale was never a visual powerhouse, so I can’t imagine how well this will convert to 3D.