- Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
- Producers: Kenta Fukasaku, Kimio Kataoka, Chie Kobayashi, Toshio Nabeshima
- Writers: Novel, Koushun Takami, Screenplay, Kenta Fukasaku
- Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Sport, Thriller
- Actors: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Masanobu Ando
The plot of the film is fairly faithful to that of the novel, with a few key differences. The prologue is as follows:
The film concentrates on Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a charismatic young boy living in Kanagawa Prefecture. After his mother abandons him and his father commits suicide, he becomes disillusioned with life. The rest of his classmates are similarly disillusioned, and have little respect for authority. Shuya’s best friend, Yoshitoki “Nobu” Kuninobu (Yukihiro Kotani), attacks their teacher Kitano (Takeshi Kitano), but runs away before he can be identified. Noriko Nakagawa (Aki Maeda), a sweet, reserved young girl who happens to witness the incident, hides the knife that Nobu has just attacked Kitano with. Kitano, frustrated, resigns.
The next year, as the students are nearing the end of their compulsory education, they embark on a class trip. On the bus the entire class is gassed, kidnapped, taken to an isolated island, and fitted with electronic collars. Once there, the students are shocked to find that they are inside an abandoned school, and that Kitano (along with the government) is behind the entire operation. Kitano informs them that they have been selected as participants in Battle Royale, a game created by the Millennial Educational Reform Act (better known as the Battle Royale Act) where the students must kill each other until only one is left. One class from the country per year is selected to participate in the program. If after three days a winner is not declared, the explosive collars attached to each student’s neck will be detonated. The collars also prevent the students entering certain areas of the field of participation, the “danger zones,” with the intention of forcing the students to encounter one another. (These instructions are delivered by a cute, smiling girl via a video, who behaves like a kindergarten teacher and refers to herself as their “big sister”.) After killing a student, Fumiyo Fujiyoshi, for whispering, Kitano also detonates Nobu’s collar, killing him. One by one, each student leaves the school, having been provided with survival packs and a random weapon or other non-deadly device.
Differences between the original book include (though are not limited to):