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More Teen-Against-Teen Projects at CW

By October 8, 2012

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Mark Pedowitz, President of The CW Television Network, has plans to endanger a whole bunch of kids.

Mark Pedowitz, President of The CW Television Network, has plans to endanger a whole bunch of kids.

© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It's funny how Lord of the Flies, one of the most memorable stories doomed to be relegated to assigned reading in grade school English classes, has yet to be made into a compelling film. Perhaps the allegory, sufferable enough on paper, is too brusque for the medium of film. Or perhaps it simply dates from a time when kids were expected to be winsome and conformist, and the idea of a "lost" child was still as shocking as it had been for J.M. Barrie.

As The Hunger Games has demonstrated, the market is there for children not only put in danger but forced into adult-sized ethical dilemmas as well. Only Hunger Games doesn't go far enough. The fact that the games are controlled by dissolute adults exonerates the youths of any action. The visceral thrill that underlies Lord of the Flies, of children driven to the extremes of human nature by the absence of the confining rules of adults and society, remains to be exploited.

The CW went partway down this road with its adaptation of The Selection, a novel in the Hunger Games ballpark from two of the writers behind The Secret Circle. The network eventually passed, preferring the Arrow/Beauty and the Beast double-whammy of adult young men with lots of damage who spend their free time at the gym.

Then came word that The CW was looking into a purer expression of the abandoned-group-of-teens-forced-into-violence concept, namely an American version of the Japanese novel/manga/feature film Battle Royale. Given the trickiness of the rights that one may be in talks for a while though.

Now it's been announced that the network has bought yet another project involving teens fending for themselves called The Hundred. According to Deadline, The Hundred is written by screenwriter/blogger Jason Rothenberg and set a hundred years after mankind mostly destroyed itself, with space-bound survivors now looking to re-colonize Earth. So they send a hundred juvenile delinquents are back to Earth to explore the "wildly changed planet." The future of the human race is left in their hands.

There's a lot that can be done with this premise, as they'll be dealing with both internal conflict on a scale teens are not ready to handle, and the possibility of all kinds of external stimuli (natural dangers, other spacefarers, conspiracies among the adults, etc.). There's a lot of room for meaty sci-fi here. And on the superficial side--this is The CW--the producers will no doubt have a field day with the casting. Other survival-oriented shows like Terra Nova or Outcasts only allowed for a handful of bright-eyed teens, but The Hundred could surpass even The Vampire Diaries in pretty-face saturation.

Meanwhile, we've heard recently that The Selection may not be dead. The network is apparently giving the pilot script "heavy retooling" looking toward production of a revised, partly recast pilot in the spring for possible inclusion in the fall 2013 schedule. "The cast is expected to change," explained CW president Mark Pedowitz, "but the CW and The Selection studio Warner Bros. TV are looking to keep the lead, Aimee Teegarden." Knowing to keep her around is a promising sign for the retooled series.
Tags: The Selection, The Hundred, Battle Royale, Mark Pedowitz
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