When Gore Verbinski's The Ring hit theaters back in 2002, nobody could have predicted the phenomenon it would become. The Ring made serious bank at the box office, and invaded pop culture to the extent that its infamous cursed VHS tape became common reference fodder. The film also kicked off a period of popularity for Asian horror in the USA, through both English-language remakes and the importation of Japanese and Korean spookers. Unfortunately, 2005 brought us The Ring 2, a critically reviled film that even many horror fans consider one of the worst genre sequels in decades.
Rumors of a third Ring film have floated around for years now, with the project finally getting officially announced by Paramount last year. Since then, reports on what Rings would actually be about have varied, with some suggesting that the script concerned the origin of murderous ghost Samara Morgan. Director F. Javier Gutiérrez saw fit to debunk that belief earlier this year, stating that the project is set in the present day, while also letting everyone know that the film had entered production. How, or if, the story will incorporate video tapes into a 2015 setting is a question still unanswered. Perhaps Samara will upgrade to Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, Paramount has announced that Rings has been bumped from its planned November 13th release date, and will now arrive sometime in 2016. This doesn't really come as a huge surprise, seeing as it's nearly October and we've yet to see any type of promotional push for the film, or even confirmation that it's wrapped production. No new date has been officially set by the studio, although the current speculation is that Rings will debut in theaters during the first quarter of next year.
On the surface, it's hard to think of this move as a good omen for the quality of Rings. Sure, there are notable exceptions to the rule, but for the most part studios tend to dump the films they have little confidence in during the first few months of the year. Case in point, the aforementioned Ring Two was released in March 2005. While Rings isn't the only film to be shuffled around on Paramount's upcoming schedule recently, making a release date jump from the last quarter to the first quarter of the year tends to lower expectations.
That all said, Ring fans shouldn't lose hope. Rules are made to be broken, and Rings may just be the film to get the once-promising franchise back on track. Fans will just have to wait more than seven days to find out for sure.
Rings hits theaters sometime in 2016.