Hunger Games versus Battle Royale — fighting for originality

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Battle Royale BannerThe anxiously anticipated film The Hunger Games hits theaters this Friday, but did you know that a long running plagiarism controversy surrounds the young adult story about teens battling each other to the death in a live television show? Many believe that the book by Suzanne Collins (and the upcoming movie) was at least partially ripped-off from the Japanese book and film Battle Royale, which was released in the year 2001, seven years before the first Hunger Games book was published.

Ms. Collins claims she never heard of Battle Royale until after her manuscript was already submitted to her publisher, and it’s very possible as this story line is not anything unique. The Romans were watching this kind of entertainment almost 2000 years ago and even if Hunger Games is an American  rip-off of the Japanese film, Battle Royale sounds like it’s story was lifted straight from Stephen King’s The Running Man and The Long Walk, which I’m sure were influenced by the book and film The Most Dangerous Game,  an 80-year-old story about men hunting men — and so it goes.

The Most Dangerous GameLet’s face it; there are not many story lines out there that are not influenced in some way by another book or film or pop culture reference. But the good news is that you can decide for yourself whether The Hunger Games is an “original” or not by checking out the Cult Classics screening of Battle Royale this Friday evening at the MADCAP Theaters in Tempe. Quentin Tarantino has said that Battle Royale is his “favorite movie of all-time.” That alone should make this film worth seeing, and Cult Classics screenings always have other fun art and promotional items to make for a unique movie experience. There will be two shows (9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.) and you can get more information at cultclassicsaz.com.

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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  • battle royale was released in 99, the movie in 2000

    the author admits being inspired by the long walk

    king may have been inspired by the lottery, the most dangerous game and the seventh victim

    however, he significantly changed the story and structure so as for readers not to notice

    this is something ms collins is not skilled at…it is obvious that she borrowed much from battle royale

  • battle royale was released in 99, the movie in 2000

    the author admits being inspired by the long walk

    king may have been inspired by the lottery, the most dangerous game and the seventh victim

    however, he significantly changed the story and structure so as for readers not to notice

    this is something ms collins is not skilled at…it is obvious that she borrowed much from battle royale

  • I’ve seen and read Running Man. I have seen and read the Battle Royale. I have read, and yet to see, the Hunger Games.

    Sure, the gladiator arena concept is the same. There are kids involved. But to say it’s a rip-off or plagiarism? I’m not sure people have read or seen both movies if they are saying that. In that case, Hitchock kept plagiarizing himself, a movie taking place in court must have copied a movie placed in court, Lethal Waepon is plagiarized the Odd Couple, E.T copied Alien, and there is no difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

    Beyond kids fighting to the death in an arena, what exactly is the same between these stories?
    Battle Royale is more drama-high-school-horror film, while Hunger Games is dystopian sci-fi.
    Battle Royale deals with a story almost completely set within an island with very little knowledge of the outside world, except what you see in the scrawl at the beginning… Hunger Games starts with a small environemnt and by the end of the first book you get to see a larger world, and by book 3 has become epic in proportions.
    Battle Royale is a survivor game…Hunger Games is the start of a revolution.

    I am by no means dissing Battle Royale. It’s one of my top 20 films of all time. But to say one copied the other? Gimme a break.

  • I’ve seen and read Running Man. I have seen and read the Battle Royale. I have read, and yet to see, the Hunger Games.

    Sure, the gladiator arena concept is the same. There are kids involved. But to say it’s a rip-off or plagiarism? I’m not sure people have read or seen both movies if they are saying that. In that case, Hitchock kept plagiarizing himself, a movie taking place in court must have copied a movie placed in court, Lethal Waepon is plagiarized the Odd Couple, E.T copied Alien, and there is no difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

    Beyond kids fighting to the death in an arena, what exactly is the same between these stories?
    Battle Royale is more drama-high-school-horror film, while Hunger Games is dystopian sci-fi.
    Battle Royale deals with a story almost completely set within an island with very little knowledge of the outside world, except what you see in the scrawl at the beginning… Hunger Games starts with a small environemnt and by the end of the first book you get to see a larger world, and by book 3 has become epic in proportions.
    Battle Royale is a survivor game…Hunger Games is the start of a revolution.

    I am by no means dissing Battle Royale. It’s one of my top 20 films of all time. But to say one copied the other? Gimme a break.

  • First off Cliff how can you say that i havent even seent he movie but I’ve seen the trailer and they are in a sectored areana with death zones, they each take bags with different weapons and essentials at random all be it in a slightly different way. I love battle royale and she atleast needs to give that some credit her her basic plot elements are very similar. And if there is a ringer or government planted particapants in the movie then that copying to me.

  • First off Cliff how can you say that i havent even seent he movie but I’ve seen the trailer and they are in a sectored areana with death zones, they each take bags with different weapons and essentials at random all be it in a slightly different way. I love battle royale and she atleast needs to give that some credit her her basic plot elements are very similar. And if there is a ringer or government planted particapants in the movie then that copying to me.

  • Hunger Gamest trilogy of books and films is a rip off of Battle Royale both in story line and premise. Everyone out there go and watch Battle Royale 2 (the sequel)-its almost identical to the trilogy of books.

  • Hunger Gamest trilogy of books and films is a rip off of Battle Royale both in story line and premise. Everyone out there go and watch Battle Royale 2 (the sequel)-its almost identical to the trilogy of books.

  • Why quote Quentin Tarantino? That copycat “homage” loser!

    Mr Plagiarist himself or “Hollywood’s Plagiarist” as Ebert calls him!!!!

    Oh, how he fooled the whole movie industry into thinking he is original.
    He is only shallow and derivative. LOL!!!

  • Why quote Quentin Tarantino? That copycat “homage” loser!

    Mr Plagiarist himself or “Hollywood’s Plagiarist” as Ebert calls him!!!!

    Oh, how he fooled the whole movie industry into thinking he is original.
    He is only shallow and derivative. LOL!!!

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