Grudge remake

The upcoming The Grudge remake may be in a bit of trouble. Taka lchise, producer of the original Japanese Grudge (Ju-on) franchise, has filed a breach of contract lawsuit, claiming that he was not offered a producer credit on the new movie. The Grudge remake is already filming, but this new development might curse it to an uncertain future.

There have been 11 movies in the Ju-on/Grudge franchise, and up until now, the only problems anyone had to deal with were some extremely noisy ghosts. But now, The Grudge is being haunted by the scariest thing of all: litigation! There’s a new The Grudge movie in the works – simply titled Grudge (lose the “the”; it’s cleaner) – and that film is now facing some legal issues. Deadline is reporting that Taka lchise, who produced the original franchise, has filed a lawsuit against  Grudge remake production company Good Universe.

Apparently, Good Universe acquired the rights “to develop the next installment of The Grudge on the condition Ichise be given a producer credit and paid an agreed upon fee. The suit claims that despite the contract, Good Universe has not given Ichise a producer credit.” If you enjoy reading tedious legal documents, you can peruse the lawsuit paperwork here.

Ichise has been with the franchise from the beginning, producing the original Ju-on, its sequels, and the 2004 American remake. With all this in mind, it’s a bit odd that Good Universe would arbitrarily cut him out of this new film to begin with and then continue to refuse to do so and let the matter go to court.

This all seems rather easy to resolve, and hopefully it will all work out. Because if it doesn’t, this lawsuit could potentially hurt the new film. While I’m not exactly chomping at the bit for a new Grudge movie, the talent involved with this new take on the material is too good to ignore. Nicolas Pesce, who helmed the terrifying indie horror film The Eyes of My Mother, is directing, and he’s compiled a cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho, Lin Shaye, Jacki Weaver, Betty Gilpin, William Sadler, and Frankie Faison.

The first film – Ju-on – was released in 2002, and presented a nonliniar story about a murder/suicide in a house in Japan, and the ghostly hauntings that followed. The film would spawn several sequels – including a cross-over with The RingSadako vs. Kayako. In 2004, Takashi Shimizu, who directed the original film, helmed an American remake of Ju-on titled The Grudge. It starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, and was followed by two sequels – The Grudge 2 and The Grudge 3.

Now, the series is starting up again. “We are so excited about this new adaptation,” producer Sam Raimi said. “We went back to the original source material to deliver a relentless supernatural thrill ride that explores the horrors of American suburbia.” As long as the lawsuit doesn’t derail it, Grudge will open on August 16, 2019.

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