Sony’s reboot of The Grudge horror franchise – which originated in Japan – has been assigned a summer 2019 theatrical release date. Throughout its history as a genre, horror has tended to rely on waves of similar movies hitting around the same time, at least when it comes to Hollywood’s output. For instance, the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th gave birth to the slasher boom that ruled the 80s, while in the 2000s, the smash success of The Ring led to a large amount of American remakes of Asian horror.
Next to The Ring, the biggest hit of said American remakes was 2004’s The Grudge, distributed by Columbia Pictures. Unlike The Ring – which was directed by future Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski – The Grudge was helmed by Takashi Shimizu, director of all prior entries in Japan’s Ju-on: The Grudge franchise. Naturally, the resulting film was extremely similar to the original, and was even set in Japan. The biggest change was the presence of American stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, and Bill Pullman in prominent roles.
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Made on a budget of only $10 million, The Grudge earned nearly $188 million worldwide, making it a big win by any conventional measure. A sequel – The Grudge 2 – was released in 2006, but failed to perform as well, earning worse reviews and only a fraction of the box office. Finally, a third Grudge film was released direct to DVD in 2009. The franchise has been dormant since – at least in America – but no well-known horror property is ever truly dead, and Sony will soon release a Grudge reboot. According to Deadline, that reboot will arrive in theaters on August 16, 2019.
While the fact that this is indeed a Grudge entry gives horror fans a certain idea of what to expect, little is known about the actual plot this time out, or how close it will stick to prior films in the franchise. The reboot is being both written and directed by Nicolas Pesce, who earned much acclaim for his 2016 indie horror effort The Eyes of My Mother. Pesce also recently helmed Piercing, which stars Mia Wasikowska, and adapts a 1994 novel by Japanese author Ryu Murakami.
The Grudge reboot is assembling quite the talented cast as well, led by Andrea Riseborough, star of the devastatingly cruel Black Mirror season 4 episode “Crocodile.” Also on-board are Lin Shaye, John Cho, and Demian Bichir. Shaye has become a horror mainstay, starring as heroic psychic Elise Rainier in the Insidious franchise. Cho currently stars in FOX’s TV spinoff of The Exorcist, while Bichir appeared in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, and will star in this fall’s The Nun, the latest spinoff of James Wan’s The Conjuring franchise. Shooting on The Grudge begins in May.
More: The Grudge Reboot Sets Main Cast & Filming Start Date
The Grudge reboot haunts theaters on August 16, 2019.