reboot The Grudge

The Grudge has been around for a good while. It’s nearly at the fifteen-year anniversary mark. (If you count the very first short installment, actually, we’ve passed that milestone.) So now it’s evidently time to reboot The Grudge in the US.

Well before producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert recruited Takashi Shimizu to direct the first American Grudge installment, there were four in Japan. Shimizu directed all: two Ju-on films for television and two theatrical versions. (The first theatrical one was loosely remade as the first US film.)

Then there are additional sequels, a video game, and novel and manga adaptations. There are the two American films, also directed by Shimizu, and a little-seen third US film released in 2009. The series remains popular, so naturally efforts are now afoot to re-do the series for American audiences.

Deadline reports that Raimi and Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures will join with Good Universe to “relaunch the franchise.” Jeff Buhler will script. (He wrote Midnight Meat Train as well as a draft of the possible Jacob’s Ladder remake.)

Who will direct and star? We don’t know at this point. Takashi Shimizu has directed most of the Ju-on and The Grudge films, and while one of the few he didn’t make (the third American film) is probably the series’ least successful, it might be great to see someone else take a swing at it. Presumably the basic concept will fit in with all the other films. But all that really matters is that echoes of an old violent tragedy are able to plague the film’s characters. The J-Horror boom died down long ago in the US, but with other supernatural horror films doing huge business, it’s no surprise to see The Grudge come back.

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