I’ve been asked a bunch about whether Hunger Games is a “rip-off” of Battle Royale, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to digitalize my reaction.
Like asking if professional wrestling is real, asking if HG is a rip-off of BR is the wrong question. “Rip-off” is too top-loaded and wonky a term to work. It’s also too easy to argue.
Rip-off? Probably not.
Inspired by? Probably so.
There are just too many similarities to ignore … and the fact that the HG marketing has forbidden mention of the words “Battle” and “Royale” — so as not to muddy the waters — tells one all one really needs to know.
But, whether HG was inspired by BR or not, it takes some colossal cajones to fashion a story about tweens/teens killing each other on national TV and make an American tween/teen book and movie phenomenon out of it!
Remember, the story of Romeo and Juliet was dramatized around a dozen times before Shakespeare got to it.
Whoever writes it best wins … and I hear HG, on page and on screen, is pretty darn good.
I haven’t gotten to it myself. I’m too busy enjoying the new ultimate Blu-ray DVD set of Battle Royale!