Imagine you're at home popping the top on a cold beverage as you settle into your chair. You've got the lights down and a bag of chips and salsa next to you. You flip on your big-screen TV to enjoy the ballgame. Surely by now the first pitch has gone out.
As the picture on the TV fills out, a young girl in a white dress stands awkwardly where the pitcher should be. Her skin is pale as bone and her long black hair hangs in front of her face. Have you slipped into "The Twilight Zone"? How did the girl from "The Ring" end up on your television in the middle of a baseball field? Is she going to come out of the TV and get you like she's known to do?
If you were watching the latest baseball game between the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Tokyo Dome the other night in Japan, this probably doesn't seem so funny. The ghostly Sadako from the "Ring" series of films threw the opening pitch of the game after slowly lumbering her way onto the pitcher's mound as the crowd of thousands cheered her on. She took a few steps forward to get the ball to the batter. After the throw, she collapsed onto the field dramatically before her handler came out to assist her.
It was all part of a PR stunt to promote the latest installment in the wildly successful Japanese horror franchise that inspired an American remake and sequel which more than doubled their budgets at the box office. The new movie is "Sadako 3D," based on creator Koji Suzuki's upcoming novel "S." Strangely, a 3D sequel to the American versions was announced as far back as 2009.
In "Sadako 3D," the ghostly girl has made her way onto the Web. After someone uploads the cursed video to a live suicide website, she begins terrorizing the students of an all-girl high school. A young teacher and detective are the only one standing in the way of a madman trying to resurrect Sadako and then stop the curse from running rampant. It seems like filmmakers are attempting to appeal to a teen audience from the description.
The American version of "The Ring" was directed by Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski. Its sequel, "The Ring 2," was directed by original "Ringu" director Hideo Nakata. According to an article posted in 2010 by ScreenCrave, there's been no word as to who will helm the sequel, but producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have considered a return to the franchise.
Much like the Japanese 3D sequel, "The Ring 3D" sounds like it's being tailored for a teen audience. The last plot synopsis involved a teenager finding an old VCR that still worked.
Paramount president Adam Goodman recently shared with The Hollywood Reporter that the third "Ring" could take the "found footage" route so popular right now. Goodman used the "Paranormal Activity" movies and "The Devil Inside" as one of the examples of "found footage" films made on modest budgets and brought in over $1 billion.
"'The Ring' is something that really lends itself to this format right now, so we're talking to Walter Parkes about doing something with that," Goodman said.
"Sadako 3D" will no doubt make its way into limited theaters in the United States at some point this year. You can see the full theatrical trailer for the movie at Twitch.
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Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
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