Ill-Advised: 'Battle Royale', 'Funny Games' Remakes

brIn the most predictable of developments – in part due to the parallels drawn between the images released by the Virginia Tech shooter and some found in Chan Wook-Park’s Oldboy – IGN reports (via Movieweb) that plans for a remake of the original Japanese teenager-on-teenager, kill-or-be-killed cult classic Battle Royale have hit major snags. Words from producer Roy Lee, via NYT:

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.’

As we noted back in June of last year, an Americanized version of Battle Royale was never going to come to pass without major conceptual concessions (read – watered down, with a cast probably aged 10 years older) and should never make it past the talking stages – for cinematic, not political reasons.

fg.jpgAnd then there’s Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke (creator of one of 2005’s best films –Caché), who recreates his 1997 picture Funny Games for The States. Featuring Naomi Watts (production still via IONCINEMA / Goldenfiddle) and Tim Roth in a harrowing story of family vacationers taken hostage and tortured by a pair of psychopaths – the film is being recreated by Haneke, and as opposed to Battle Royale, will be stay true to the original. So true in fact, that the director is doing a shot-for-shot re-creation, even using the blueprints from the original set design. One significant difference is that the new version will be shot by cinematographer Darius Khondji (SE7EN), but besides that, “what’s the point?” asks Filmstalker.

Related video:
Battle Royale trailer (2000),
Battle Royale in 2 1/2 minutes (Bloody)
— World Wresting sanctioned – opened, and flopped last month – The Condemned trailer. Not a Battle Royale remake, just a rip-off.

A DVD recommendation, bringing everything full circle – a chilling and hypnotic pre-Columbine cautionary tale by Michael Haneke: 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994).

Posted by Ted Zee on May 07th 2007 | Home Page | 10 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

10 Responses

  1. Chuck Says:

    I think the “Funny Games” remake could be interesting if it is genuinely “Americanized.” I love the original, but a creative repurposing of the film’s plot (rather than a straight remake) might work.

  2. Ted Z. Says:

    Chuck – Agreed on the interest level if this weren’t a shot for shot remake. I’m curious as to what the director’s motivations are if things play out as they seem. If Haneke has an interest in growing his stateside audiences, why not start from scratch?

  3. ‘Funny Games’ & Video Selections: 9/14 » bigscreenlittlescreen.net Says:

    […] Previously, Funny Games and Battle Royale, all over again? Why bother? […]

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