The Hunger Games seems likely to be the most highly anticipated movie of the year, and already, claims of plot stealing have surfaced. However, this time there may be some substance to those claims.
In the Lionsgate film, young kids are forced into a death match until there is only one teenager standing. Interestingly enough, this is the same exact storyline for Battle Royale, an obscure, brutal, dark Japanese movie that predates the Hunger Games by 12 years. The film was also based on a book that was published in 1999, nearly 10 years before the first installment of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy hit shelves.
Kenji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale takes place in a near-future Japan where youth crime has spiraled out of control. A group of 42 students who are taken to a deserted island, overseen by an oppressive teacher Kitano, are given three days to kill each other with supplied weapons or be killed.
Now the mass fanfare which has erupted around The Hunger Games has seeped over to Battle Royale. In timely fashion, a four-disk DVD/Blu-ray package titled Battle Royale: The Complete Collection, has now been released.
Battle Royale Trailer
With a subject matter of youth violence, the film was not well received internationally at its initial time of release. A decade later Battle Royale has built up a fierce and devoted following that is eager to engage in battle with Hunger Games fans. On a YouTube “Battle Royale vs. Hunger Games” page, one BR fan rebuked a HG fan saying:
“Hunger Games’ is like another ‘Twilight’ taking a (great) concept and (weakening) it with a love triangle that bores the (life) outta me.”
Although, it is very plausible that Suzann Collins swiped the plot from Battle Royale to create her trilogy, nothing seems capable of stopping the assent of The Hunger Games into young adult classical-dom. While the battle between the two camps will probably continue to be waged for many years to come, the battle for Panem rages on in theaters this Friday.