Better late than never?
With Japanese cult classic Battle Royale receiving a 3D makeover for an upcoming theatrical re-release in its home nation word is out that a full ten years after its initial release Battle Royale will finally be available in North America.
Anchor Bay have reportedly taken rights to the 3D re-do, the original version of Battle Royale plus the (greatly inferior) sequel. It appears that in the Japanese press releases production house Toei is blaming the delay in US release on fears of post-Columbine backlash on behalf of the US distribs, a claim which is patently false. If there were fears of political or legal backlash to releasing a film about teen violence so close on the heels of actual teen violence then those fears were on the part of Toei themselves, not the local distributors, several of whom made multiple bids to buy the rights to the film when it was initially released and over several years following only to be told bluntly that the company was not interested in selling at the time. The exact reasons for the initial refusal have never been clear nor is the thinking behind this new reversal of policy. That said, you know, better late than never.
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