Nowadays it’s rare to see VHS tapes cluttering up people’s shelves, except as cutesy nostalgia pieces or relics of a bygone age left to gather dust by obsessive hoarders. It’s one of the things that makes techno-oriented horror films like The Ring very dated. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that, of course, but it makes the goal of producing a sequel to The Ring 2 somewhat challenging.
Taking on that challenge is director F. Javier Gutiérrez, who previously directed apocalypse thriller Before the Fall and for quite a long time was attached to the upcoming reboot of The Crow. Gutiérrez’s sequel will be called Rings and was partially scripted by Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind … but also wrote the screenplay for Batman and Robin.
There was some speculation that Rings would be a prequel to the previous two films, since the screenplay was described as being an origin story for restless spirit Samara Morgan. This certainly would have made it easier to incorporate videotapes into the story. However, Gutiérrez has responded to these rumors on Twitter, clarifying that Rings is not a prequel and in fact takes place 13 years after the events of The Ring. Since the first Western adaptation of the story was released in 2002, this places Rings in modern times.
Gutiérrez also announced via Instagram that filming on Rings has already begun, which is just as well considering the fact that it’s supposed to release in less than eight months. After the years spent waiting around for Relativity Media to get the gears turning on The Crow, it’s probably a relief for Gutiérrez to work on a project that’s moved ahead so quickly. Let’s just hope that the limited production time doesn’t impact the film’s quality.
The Ring movies are based on a novel by Koji Suzuki, which has been adapted numerous times for both television and film. The story centers around a cursed videotape that is possessed by the spirit of a murdered girl. Anyone who watches the tape dies seven days later, after being tormented by warnings of their death. The only way to escape this terrible fate is to make a copy of the tape, allowing its influence to spread like a virus.
Rings will star two relative newcomers as its leads: Italian actress Matilda Lutz (Fuoriclasse) and English actor Alex Roe (Sniper: Legacy). Very little is known about the plot right now, besides the (unconfirmed) origin story aspect. Still, it will be interesting to see whether the cursed videotape gets a technological update. Maybe people can just view it on their iPads now. Perhaps it’s already on Youtube, and it’s actually the music video for Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space‘. The horror.
Rings opens in U.S. theaters on November 13th, 2015.