The Grudge is returning to the big screen. Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe announced today that The Grudge reboot is coming and being prepped for production. The studios stated that Jeff Buhler, known for Midnight Meat Train, will write the screenplay for the relaunch.
The Grudge was released back in 2004 and starred Sarah Michelle Geller as a nurse in Tokyo who finds herself haunted by the tormented spirits of the dead. The young woman soon finds out that she has been plagued with a mysterious supernatural curse that causes those afflicted to go into an uncontrollable rage that eventually takes their life and spreads to another helpless victim. Directed by Takashi Shimizu and produced by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures for barely $10 million, the horror film would end up grossing over $187 million worldwide during October of 2004.
A sequel was released in 2006 with Amber Tambyn in the lead role as the sister to Sarah Michelle Geller’s character from the first film. The Grudge 2, also directed by Takashi Shimizu, had double the production budget of the first film but only managed to gross $70 million worldwide. Sarah Michelle Geller made an appearance in the disappointing sequel while both actresses sat out the third entry in the horror franchise directed by Toby Wilkins that was released directly to DVD. The up-coming reboot of The Grudge has not yet stated whether the same characters will reappear with different actors in the role. All three American films in the horror series were released by Sony Pictures.
The Grudge film series is a remake of the Japanese horror franchise Ju-on. The first film was released in 2000 and directed by Takashi Shimizu. Shot in just nine days, Ju-on: The Curse went onto surprise success in the direct to video market overseas and quickly led to a sequel, Ju-On: The Curse 2, to be released within the same year. After the unexpected word of mouth surrounding the two films began to rapidly grow, Takashi Shimizu was able to direct a big screen entry in 2002 entitled Ju-on: The Grudge. The Japanese filmmaker would also direct the film’s sequel, Ju-on: The Grudge 2 as well as being asked to helm the American remake versions of his films.
Takashi Shimizu also helped to direct Ju-on: The Grudge video game developed for the Nintendo Wii gaming console. The video game matched the style of the film and was produced in honour of the Japanese film franchise’s ten year anniversary. Takashi Shimizu has not returned to the series since collaborating with Feelplus on the video game in 2009. The video game was published by XSeed Games in North America. To date, the Japanese horror film franchise has six separate entries with a seventh entitled Ju-on: The Beginning Of The End currently slated to open later this year.
The Grudge reboot coming courtesy of Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe has not announced any release window or further details at this time. The film will be produced by Sam Raimi, Taka Ichise and Rob Tapert.
By Benjamin Murray