What's the Difference between Rollerball Murder the Book and Rollerball the Movie?

Science Fiction

Rollerball Murder

Released: 1973
Author: William Harrison


Released: 1975
Director: Norman Jewison
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In the Book In the Movie
Jonathhon E
Jonathhon E
Portrayed by: James Caan
Mr. Bartholomew
Mr. Bartholomew
Portrayed by: John Houseman
Portrayed by: John Beck
Portrayed by: Moses Gun
Portrayed by: Maud Adams
Portrayed by: Pamela Hensley
Portrayed by: Barbara Trentham
This Character does not appear.
Rusty, Team Exec
Portrayed by: Shane Rimmer
This Character does not appear.
Portrayed by: Ralph Richardson
Rollerball Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   Each team has 20 players; 10 skaters, 5 runners and 5 bikers on 175cc motorcycles. Play lasts for two hours with no substitutes, no penalties (including deliberate killing) or rest periods. Each team has 10 players on the rink at once. 5 skaters, 2 skater/catchers, 3 bikers on 125cc motorcycles. There are 5 substitute skaters and 3 substitute bikers. There are 3 periods, 20 minutes each with 2 minute rest breaks. Penalties include hiding the ball, skating in the wrong direction, using the ball as a weapon, skaters/bikers deliberately injuring each other
   Scoring. The runners use lacrosse like paddles to bash other players and to catch the ball. A point is scored when a runner passes the skaters on the other team and hands the ball off to a biker. The runner can catch a ride with a biker. The skaters try to stop the runners from scoring; brawling is normal. A point is scored when a skater is able to throw the ball into one of 21 inch goals. The skater has to keep the ball in plain view after he gets it from a catcher for one track revolution and score prior to the 3rd trip around the track or else the ball is dead and a new one fired. Fighting is usual.
   Jonathon E has been playing Roller Ball Murder for 15 years and is the best at it. He hears of games (but does not play in) in Manila or Barcelona in which there are no time limits and they play until the runners are dead/injured and no scoring is possible. There are some mixed teams of men/women with tear away jerseys which result in exposure/nudity of the player. Jonathon knows they'll change the rules until they all "skate on a slick of blood". Jonathon E. has been playing Rollerball for 20 years and is still on top. The teams are male only. The rules are changed in an attempt to kill or injure him to take him out of the game.
   Cletus is a retired Roller Ball Murder player and friend of Jonathon's. He is on the rules committee and attempts to keep some of the more insane suggestions as no time limits becoming a new rule. Cletus is a friend and tries to find out why the executives are scared of Jonathon.
   Jonathon E is large, 6' 3" and 255 pounds. James Caan is much smaller.
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