Sony’s reboot of the supernatural horror film The Grudge may have found its lead in Andrea Riseborough. Last summer, the studio announced a reboot of the 2004 film The Grudge, based on a script by Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train), with Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) on board to re-write and direct, and with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures producing the film.
The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, follows an American social worker living and working in Tokyo who is exposed to a supernatural curse that creates uncontrollable homicidal rage. The film is the American version of the Japanese horror film Ju-on: The Grudge, both directed by Takashi Shimizu. After two unsuccessful sequels, Sony is ready to reboot the story and it seems like the studio has found its new lead.
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According to Deadline, Andrea Riseborough is in talks to star in the new version of The Grudge. Her character – unlike Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Karen Davis, a social worker living in Tokyo with her boyfriend – would be that of a detective and single mother. It’s still unknown if the reboot will keep the characters of Kayako and Toshio, the mother and son murdered by their husband/father and carriers of the curse.
In addition to The Grudge, Riseborough is also circling the Amazon-Sky miniseries Zero, Zero, Zero, based on the book by Roberto Saviano, set in the world of international cocaine trafficking. Riseborough would play Emma Landry, the operations manager of her family’s financial empire.
The Grudge franchise started back in 1998 with two short Japanese horror films titled Katasumi and 4444444444, which serve as the foundations for the rest of the franchise. Ju-On: The Curse (2000) was the first full-length film in the franchise, introducing the story of Kayako, Toshio, and their murder. The latest installment in the franchise is Sadako vs Kayako, released in 2016, a crossover between Ju-On and Ring. Sony’s reboot would be the 13th film in the franchise.
Riseborough has mostly starred in drama and comedy films, most notably Battle of the Sexes, Birdman, and Nocturnal Animals. Among her recent works is the Black Mirror episode "Crocodile," where she plays Mia, a woman who helps her friend cover up a hit-and-run death and is involved in a series of complicated events years after the incident. The Grudge would be her first role in a horror film.
Fans of The Grudge will have to wait a bit longer to know more details about the story – mainly if they will keep Kayako’s story or not – but the news about Riseborough being in talks to star is a good first step. Hopefully, and thanks to other horror films being rebooted or remade successfully in recent years, this new version of The Grudge will get to a wider audience and will be better received than its predecessors.
More: Sadako v Kayako Review